EGYPTIAN CALENDAR FOR THE YEAR 1295 A. H.
(1878 A. D.)
CORRESPONDING WITH THE YEARS
1594-1595 OF THE KOPTIC ERA.

[R. L. N. MICHELL]

"Anni certus modus apud solos semper Ægyptios fuit''
                                                                   
Macrobius.

ALEXANDRIA
FRENCH PRINTING-OFFICE, A. MOURES, SQUARE IBRAHIM.

1877


DEDICATED
TO THE MEMORY OF
YUSEF HEKEKYAN BEY.
 


INTRODUCTORY NOTE

The present Calendar gives the Mohammedan year 1295 of the Flight, together with the corresponding months of the Koptic and Gregorian years. It reproduces the essential portions of an ordinary Egyptian Calendar, as published at the present time at Cairo: and is based upon a comparative study of those that have appeared during the last 7 years. Though arranged specially for the year 1295 A. H. (1878 A.D.), it will be seen that, for general purposes, it can easily be made to serve as a perpetual Calendar. It is specially adapted for use in Cairo.

It is thus to be regarded from two points of view: (1) as a Mohammedan, (2) as a Koptic Calendar.

(1) As a Mohammedan Calendar. The object has been to five prominence to the Muslim year, and to mention all the fetes and anniversaries, worthy of notice, that occur during its course. These do not, with a few exceptions, find a place in the native almanacs; and they have therefore been supplied from other sources, including personal experience. Many of the annual festivals are extremely interesting, and many of them (celebrated as they chiefly are in the Arab, and outlying quarters of — 6 — Cairo) are passed by unseen and unheard of by Europeans, simply because no notice of their occurrence, or approach, is ever ready to hand. This little record, therefore, may perhaps supply a certain want, and be found practically useful to visitors, and to some among the sojourners, in the Egyptian Capital.

(2) As a Koptic Calendar. It is the Koptic year, arranged side by side with the former, and worthy of a study far less superficial than is here devoted to it, that forms the chief part of the Calendar. This is the old Egyptian year, with its quaint and original remarks, that has been in use for thousands of years, and has survived all the revolutions: and it is the Ephemeridal Notices, for almost every day in the year, that give to the Calendar whatever interest it possesses. They are the echoes of a distant past, and they sum up the wisdom of ages in matters of agriculture and hygiene, being based upon the observations of the ancient Egyptians, of whom Herodotus said that they devoted themselves more than all others to the study and record of natural laws.

Having given prominence to the Muslim year, we are obliged to give portions of two Koptic years (1594-1595), instead of one entire year. But as the Koptic year is solar,—beginning always on our 10th or 11th September,—the inconvenience is but slight; what is important being to notice with which days in our own year the fixed Ephemerides of the Kopts coincide.

A modern Egyptian Calendar is, in fact, merely the old Koptic Almanac, supplemented by the addition of the Arab, and other years, and of such information as is likely to be useful to the Muslim majority of the Egyptian population. To show exactly how far the present trans- — 7 — lation reproduces an ordinary Egyptian Calendar, we must refer to note iii.

It was not till the present little undertaking was far advanced that we were able to obtain M. Tissot's French translation of the Koptic Calendar, published with a few interesting notes, to which reference will be made. We have made a few insertions from his translation, and otherwise found it very useful and suggestive.

Lane's "Modern Egyptians" is an indispensable companion to the resident or visitor who would follow the course of the Egyptian year through all its months and seasons. Most of the Mohammedan festivals will be found described in that exhaustive and invaluable work, which we have, of course, frequently consulted, and quoted.

The short glossary which is added will serve to explain briefly most of the fetes, customs, &c., mentioned in the Calendar, which are too numerous to admit of explanation in foot notes. The diary for the days of the week at Cairo may be of use to travellers into whose hands it may fall. The other notes, tables, &c., dry as the nature of the subject necessarily renders them, may interest some of those who care to peruse them.

It only remains to make to following remarks respecting the use of the Calendar. The dates of all the Moulids, or Festivals, have been given as accurately as possible, not without considerable difficulty; they are not, however, to be considered as absolutely correct. There may be, in some cases, a change of day or of week. We have noted the last, or great day of a Moulid, which, as a rule, lasts 8 days (sometimes nominally 15 or 27); so that the reader must understand that the Festival begins a week before the day named in the Calendar. It is the scene at night — 8 — that is generally interesting in these Festivals, and the last two or three nights of a Moulid should be chosen for a visit. In order to be certain as to the exact date, in case of a change, the traveller will do will to inquire of some resident. The Calendar will, at any rate, suggest the approach of such Festivals as occur in the course of each month.

Then, it is to be remembered that the Mohammedan and Koptic day begins at sunset; and, throughout, the Calendar is arranged according to the computation of nights and days common to Semitic peoples generally, in which the former precede the latter. Thus e.g. the "Night of Power" (Leylet el-Kadr) is marked as falling on the 27th of Ramadan: and accordingly, though the day of 27th of Ramadan corresponds with our 23rd of September, the night of that date coincides with our night of the 22nd of September; and it is, on this latter night, therefore, that the celebration of the Night of Power is to be witnessed. So in the case of the "Night of the Half of Shaaban", and all other eves, Muslim or Koptic.

An asterisk is affixed to all Mohammedan fetes and notices, almost all of which are lunar, and so revolve through all the seasons of the year. A § denotes insertions that we have made quite independently. Almost all other notices must be supposed to represent the original ephemerides of Egyptian, or Koptic, Calendars.

While taking full responsibility for any faults that may occur in these pages, we would here express our gratitude for abundant assistance given to us by many kind friends, especially to Yakoub Artin Bey, to Hussein Effendi Ibrahim, to the Sheikh Ali Nail, and to Girgis Eflfendi Milad. Also we would here thank Mr E. T. Rogers — 9 — for very kindly reading these pages and giving us further help; and, at the last moment, Capt. Richard Burton for certain information and advice.

We would only add that the present production has no pretensions to possessing scientific value. It is only hoped that some friends and others will find of use or interest what it has amused and interested us, in leisure hours, to collect.

Cairo, October 1877.


— 13 —

Day of Week

JANUARY 1878

KYHAK 1594

MOHARHEM

MOHARHEM. 1295.

Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
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First of the Ashr (10 days). Eating chickens should be avoided.
End of S5m el-Milad. (Koptic Christmas Fast.)
Eed el-Milad. Birth day of our Lord Christ. The ostrich lays eggs.
Drinking water at night is injurious.
Gathering of oranges. Sweet things should be avoided.
Abstain from beans and similar vegetables.
Tamarind gathered (in the Soudan).
Pestilence disappears, if there be any. Strong gales.
Avoid drinking water that has not been covered.
Leylet Ashoura*. Yom Ashoura*. Pruning of red grape vines.
Avoid eating beef. Season of frost and ice.
The face of the earth becomes green. First cutting of sugar cane for pressing.
The blessing of Heaven descends upon the waters of the Nile.
Som-el Ghitass. Plant native tobacco.
Leylet el Ghitass. Eed el Ghitass. Tanta Fair (8th-15th), or lesser moulid of Ahmed el-Bedawi*.
  Accession of Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, Jan. 18th 1863.
Lesser Koptic Moulid of the Sitt Dimyaneh. The Sun enters Aquarius. The interior of the earth becomes warm.
   Gold increases in intensity.
Pruning of white grape vines. Carrots abundant.
Catarrhs and colds prevalent. Hot foods are recommended.
The water of the Nile becomes clear.
Good season for marriages.
Transplant date palms and other trees. Heavy dews.
Spices and pungent food may be used.
The sap of trees descends.
End of the Black Nights (Leyal es-Soud). Gather seeds of onions.
Beginning of the Leyal el Bulk (Black and white nights.)
Good season for planting and sowing. End of great cold.
Beginning of cold winds. Diminution of illnesses.
Birds of prey hatch their young. 1st Moulid of Ibrahim ed Dessouki.*
Foaling of high bred camels.
— 14 —
Day of Week FEBRUARY 1878 TOUBEH 1594 SAFAR

SAFAR. 1295.

Sat.
Sun.
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Beginning of Syrian winter Khamsin.
The water of the Nile attains its clearest state. Plant walnuts and peaches.
Bersim ripe for cutting.
Planting of henna.
Coupling of animals.
Winds strong and variable.
First Moulid of Abou Rish (at Damanhour) begins.*


Birds mate.
Planting of vines and pomegranates.
Abundance of milk, cream, &c.
Feast of Purification. The sap of trees ascends.
Shepherds bring their flocks to pasture. Moulid of Abou Rish ends.
Abundance of violets.
The Euphrates begins to rise. Ripening of early flax.
The Sun enters Pisces. Descent of the "Little Sun." (Shems-es-Sugheiereh).
First Gamreh.
Gathering of Syrian truffles.
Ants emerge from their holes.
Strong gusty winds (Lawakhh).
Circulation of sap in all plants.
South (Kiblieh) winds begin to blow.
Som Yunan (of 3 days) begins. Movement of the humours of the body.
Second Gamreh. Avoid sitting in the sun.
Arbaa Mayidour.
Cranes disappear. Bugs abundant.
Season of "Kalhah" cucumbers. End of pruning vines.
End of season for planting trees.
— 15 —
Day of Week MARCH 1878 AMSHIK 1594 RABIA 'L-OWWAL

RABIA 'L-OWWAL. 1295.

Sun.
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Planting of rose and jasmine.
Som el-Kebir begins. Khiar cucumbers gathered.
Third Gamreh. Plant sugar cane.
Moulid en-Nebi begins*.
Return of the Mahmal to Cairo*. Blossoming of pomegranates.
End of 2nd Leyal el-Bulk. Abundance of water fowl. Begin quail shooting. §
First day of "Hossoum" and "Old folks' cold" (Bard el-Agouz) .
Birth of grasshoppers. Storms at sea.
Season for culture of silk worms.
Plant "Indian'' cotton.
Moulid en-Nebi: great day*. The Doseh*.
Cattle to be taken from bersim. Sowing of sesame.
Last day of Hossoum, Old folks Cold. 2nd Tanta Fair, begins. Moulid of Sheikh Darwish el-Ashmawi. (Cairo).
The Zobaah (whirlwinds of sand) prevalent.
Return of swallows and hoopoes.
Gathering of flax and hemp.
End of winter.
The Sun enters Aries. Descent of the "Big Sun" (Shems el-Kebireh). Beginning of Spring. Noroz es-Sultani.
   Shem en-Nesim el-Ulama.
Trees put forth their leaves.
Tanta Fair, or 2nd lesser Moulid of Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi*.
Blowing of North winds. (Rihh el-Bahrieh).
Serpents open their eyes.
Spawning of reptiles, frogs &c. The plague of flies begins.§
The blossom of pomegranates turns to fruit.
Rain, if it fall, very beneficial to crops and all plants.
Plant. native cotton. Good season for marriages.
Abundance of roses. Rutting season of camels.
Foaling season of high-bred mares.
Blue flies appear.
Beginning of wheat harvest in Upper Egypt.
— 16 —
Day of Week APRIL 1878 BARMHA-
HAT
1594
RABIA 'T-TANI

RABIA 'T-TANI. 1295.

Tues.
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Colds and catarrhs diminish.
Plant crooked doura (maize) Flowering of mint.
Favourable season for voyaging by sea. Metamorphosis of silic worms.
Moulid of Abou'l-Eyleh. (Boulak)*. 2nd Moulid of Ibrahim ed-Dessouki*.
Eed el-Bisharah. (Annunciation).
Proper season for bleeding and purging. Dissipation of clouds.
Beginning of (50 days) season for medicinal treatment, according to Hippokrates. News Year's day in Khovaresm.
   Beans ripe.
Reptiles hatch their young.
Moulid of the Sitt Fatraeh (en-Nebawieh )*. Sowing of rice.
Mouhd of Abou Rish (at Damanhour ) begins*.
Refreshing drinks should be used. Appearance of numerous insects.
Season of chick-peas (milaneh).
Planting of indigo (nileh).
End of planting "Indian" cotton. Rainy season in Syria (Nisan).
End of small planting. Calming of the Mediterranean.
Season for making conserves of roses (magoun el-ward).
Moulid of Sitt Aysha en-Nebawieh. Season of radishes.
The Sun enters Taurus. 2nd Moulid of Abou Rish (at Damanhour)*.
End of quail shooting near Cairo § Abstain from salted food.
Eed esh-Shaanin (Palm Sunday). Crops are now safe from baneful influences.
Water rises in wells (tan tad el-eyoun)
Mouhd el-Hasaneyn. (8th-22nd; Moulid of Sultan es-Saleh*. Season of melokieh and bamia.
Arbaa Eyoub (Job's Wednesday). The pea-hen lays eggs.
Khamis el-Ahd (Maunday Thursday) Sweets should not be eaten.
Holy Friday. Great abundance of roses.
Sabt en-Noftr (Saturday of the Light). End of Somel-Kebir.
Eed el-Kiyameh (Easter Sunday). Birth of bees.
Shem en-Nesim (Smelling of the Zephyr), and first of Khamsin.
If rain falls, pearls will be found in shells.
Wheat harvest (Lower Egypt). Serpents secrete their venom.
— 17 —
Day of Week MAY
 1878
BARMOU-
DEH
1594
GUMADI 'l-OWWAL

GUMADI 'L OWWAL. 1295.

 Thur.
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End of planting rice and indigo. Good season for purging.
Descent of Adam from Paradise. The Euphrates at its full height.
End of cutting lupins and helbeh.
Sour food should be used.
The thinnest clothing should be worn. Festival of the Prophets Eli and Elias.
Mating season of ostriches.
Birth day. of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fertilisation of the date palm.
Moulid of the Sitt Sekineh (1st-8th)*. Refreshing and purifying drinks should be used.
Olives begin to ripen.
Swelling of the body. The blood circulates less actively.
End of the wheat and barley harvest (Lower Egypt). Plant cucumbers.
End of planting native doura (Holcus Sorghum). Gather seeds of Balsam.
Poppies gathered. The North breeze is welcomed,
Formerly "Feast of the Roses"1
Opening of the season of navigation by sea.
Sowing of sesame.
Ripening of mulberries.
Koptic Moulid of the Sitt Dimyaneh.
Moulid of Sheikh Yunis.*
The Sun enters Gemini.
Abundance of "shammam" el "Abdallawi" melons.
Separate weeds from rice.
The rage of fleas subsides.
Beginning of the hot season.
Gather flowers of bastard saffron.
End of (50 days) medicinal treatment according to Hippokrates (see 1st Barmahat).
Thickening and agitation of the blood. Medicines should be avoided for 75 days according to Hippokrales.
Formerly "Fete of Balsam" at Malarieh.
North winds (shimal) begin to blow regularly.
— 18 —
Day of Week MAY-JUNE
 1878
BASHANS
1594
GUMADI 'T-TANI

GUMADI 'T-TANI. 1295.

Frid.
Sat.
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Moulid of Abou l-Abbass (at Alexandria). Abundance of apricots. Period of "Bahwareh" winds (40 days).
Abundance of cockroaches. §
Bad season for marriages.
The Nile is at its lowest.
Eating honey is disliked.
Formerly Feast of the Roses at Damascus.
Eed es-Sooud (Festival of the Ascension). Morning rising of the Pleiades.
Moulid of Sidi Gaber (at Ramleh, near Alexandria). Som er-Rusoul (Fast of the Apostles) begins.
Miasma is exhaled by the Nile.
Great abundance of water melons (balikh).
The water of the Nile is changed.
The earth is fissured by heat.
Burn perfumes to disinfect the air.
Moulid er-Rufai (S. Cairo)*.
Pestilence disappears, if there be any.
Season for collecting honey. End of planting sesame.
Eed el-Ansarah (Whitsunday). Avoid drinking Nile water that has not been boiled or well filtered.
Descent of the Nukta. Moulid of Embabeh*.
Koptic Festival of Saint Michail.
Excitement of the passions.
Sirop made from sour grapes (hus-rum)
The Sun enters Cancer. Beginning of summer. Leylet es-Saratan*.
Morning rising of Aldebran Great heat.
Period of simoum winds (70 days) begins.
The eating of kids' flesh is recommended.

Moulid of the sitt Nefiseh*. The Euphrates begins to subside.
Figs and grapes begin to ripen.

Movement of the bile.
— 19 —
Day of Week JUNE-JULY
 1878
BAOUNEH
1594
REGEB

REGEB. 1295.

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Acid drinks should be used.
Peaches and pears abundant.
Day of Assemblage at the Nilometer.
Announcements are made respecting the rise of the Nile.
Avoid all relaxing food and drinks.
Fair of Aba (Upper Egypt) or Moulid of Sheikh Shelkani*.
Leylet er-Ragheyib (The Night of Desires)*. Locusts die, if there are any.
The use of strong perfumes may be discontinued.
Season of citron (turung).
The Nile begins to rise abundantly.
End of Som er-Rusoul. Abundance of honey bees.
Eed er-Rusoul (Festival of the Apostles). Death of Solomon (God bless him)
Period of regular N. W. winds.
Season of grapes. Abundance of cactus fruit (prickly pear) §.
General purification of the air.
Diminution of debility and lassitude caused by heat.
End of season for cutting wood.
Moulid of the Seyyideh Zeynab (4th-18th)*
Soaking of flax. End of sowing rice.
Storing of grain. Shrinking of grain.
Passage of partridges. Death of worms.
Diminution of water in wells.
The Sun enters Leo. The interior of the earth is cooled. Fleas disappear.
Ophthalmic complaints prevalent.
Heliacal rising of Sirius§. Ripening of numerous fruits.

Leylet el-Mearag. Moulid et-Tashtoushi*. Beginning of Bawahir (7 days of extreme heat. Abib 20th).
Clothes must not be washed for seven days.
Abundance of grapes.
— 20 —
Day of Week JULY-AUGUST
 1878
ABIB
1594
SHAABAN

SHAABAN. 1295.

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Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
29
30
    31    
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

13
14
15
16
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19
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21
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27
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30
1
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7

8
9
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19
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22
1
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9
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12
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14
15

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Bawahir winds in Syria (Bawahir er-Rum).
Gather seeds of fennel (Habbet el barakeh)

Last day of the Bawahir.
Great Tanta fair begins*.
Heliacal rising of Sirius (old calendar).


Gathering of first dates in the Hedjaz.
Ripening of early doura (maize).
Drink cold water before breakfast.
Great Tanta Fair, or Moulid of the Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi*.
Great abundance of water melons.
Avoid eating onions and garlic. Ripening of pistachio nuts (Syria).
Leylet en-Nusf min Shaaban (Night of Half of Shaaban)•. Moulid el-lmam el-Leys. Som el-Adra begins.
   Birthday of Shith (Seth. Peace be on him).
Beginning of cotton harvest.

Milk is scarce.
Moulid of el-Imam esh-Shafei*. End of period for avoiding medicines according to Hippokrates.
Moulid of the Owlad Enan*. End of (70 days) period of simoum winds.
Be cautions to avoid the bites of reptiles and insects.
Water increases in warmth.
Moulid of the Bekrieh (S. Cairo)*. Avoid eating sweet things.
The movement of the bile diminishes.
The Sun enters Virgo. Festival of the High Nile: Cutting of the "Khalig".
Great Moulid of Ibrahim ed-Dessouki. Moulid of Sheikh Dimirdash. (Abbassieh). Freshening of air, night.
Moulid of "Sultan" Hanefi. (1st-27th) Itching of the body.
Festival of the "Companions of the Cave" (the 7 Sleepers). Sleep becomes heavier.
End of Som el-Adra. Winds very variable.
Festival of the Assumption.
— 21 —
Day of Week AUGUST-
SEPTEMBER
 1878
MISREH
1594
RAMADAN

RAMADAN. 1295.

Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
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Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
28
29
30
     31     
1
2
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7
8
9
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23
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25
26
23
24
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30
1
2
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4
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1
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17
1
2
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7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Leylet er-Rouyeh (The Night of Observation)*. The taste of fruit changes by means of the Nile water.
Unfavourable season for marriages. Leylet er-Rifrafeh*.
Going to the bath is disliked.
Plant turnips and beetroot.
Gathering of Bailout (Quercus ballota) acorns.
Heliacal rising of Suheyl (Canopus).
Increase of humidity. Take precautions against diarrhoea, dysentery and ophthalmia.
Catarrhs and colds prevalent.
First day of the Nasi. (Intercalary days). Begin quail shooting at Alexandria.§
Third or great Moulid of Abou Rish, (at Damanhour). Heat and thirst diminish.
Spawning of fishes.

Moulid of Mohammed Ali Pasha*. Separate ewes from rams.
Koptic Noroz, or New Year. 1595. Moulid of Mohammed Ali Pasha*.
Special services at the mosque of Abou' l-Abbass. (Alexandria).
Sow early bersim.

Feebleness of the bile.
Dew begins to fall.
Windy season.
First of the last ten days of Ramadan.
Disturbance of the (Mediterranean) sea.
Abundance of Rutab and other dates.
Special service at the mosque of Amr. (near Old Cairo).
Anniversary of the Fall of manna and quails. End of summer. Equinox.
The Sun enters Libra. Autumn begins, Olives and limes gathered.
Leylet el-Kadr. (The Night of Power)*.

Abundance of pomegranates and quinces.
Eed es-Salib. (Festival of the Cross). Cut dykes and late canals.
— 22 —
Day of Week SEPT.-
OCTOBER
 1878
TOUT
1595
SHOWWAL

SHOWWAL. 1295.

Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
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Mon.
Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
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Thur.
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27
28
29
   30    
1
2
3
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5
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8
9
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15
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20
21
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24
25
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
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30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
Eed es Sugheier (Ramazan Bairam)* Harvest of sesame.
Eed, or Bairam*. Make lemon and other sirops.
Eed, or Bairam*. Observe the clouds and signs of the weather.
Season for cutting dykes. Disturbance of the bile.
Arrest of circulation of the sap of trees.
Almonds gathered. Abundance of beccaficos.
Tharid should be eaten.
The leaves of trees turn yellow. Great abundance of small fishes.
Procession of the Kisweh*. Avoid drinking water at night. Raking and preparation of the earth.
Gathering of nuts. Gusts of wind. Avoid medicines.
General ripening and storing of fruit. Gathering of henna.
The leaves of trees begin to fall.
Rice harvest begins. Mustard seed gathered.
Saline incrustation of the soil. End of season for general navigation.
Moulid of Bioumi*. Cut reeds (thamar) for matting etc.
Season for cutting wood.
Period of general cultivation in Egypt.
Maximum of the Nile's rising.
Drink fresh sirops, dc.
End of great heat. Breeding season of cows, sheep, and goats.
Sowing of millet, early flax, and bastard saffron.
Moulid of Afifr. Drink tiriak (theriak) before eating. Cranes arrive.
Procession of the Mahmal*. The Nile begins to subside.
Sowing of barley and bersim. Ebony is cut.
Land ploughed for cultivation of wheat. The Mediterranean is stormy. Sow anisette.
Animals should be kept near watering places. Abundance of quails.
Start of Egyptian Pilgrim Caravan from Birket el-Hagg. (Lake of Pilgrims). The Sun enters Scorpio.
Beginning of mists and fogs. Dress more warmly.
Sparrows abound. Planting of narcissus.
— 23 —
Day of Week OCT.-
NOVEMBER
 1878
BABEH
1595
ZU-'L-KAADEH

ZU-'L-KAADEH. 1295.

Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tuns.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
Mon.
Tues.
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Thur.
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Mon.
Tnes.
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Thur.
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26
27
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    31     
1
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29
To take baths is disagreeable.
Avoid sleeping in exposure to the open air.
Plant European onions.
It is agreeable to look at the clouds.
Abundance of mosquitoes. Cooling of the atmosphere and of water.
Avoid bleeding in the arms and neck. Quails begin to disappear.
Low water in the Euphrates.
Avoid drinking water at night. Rice should be eaten.
Perion of humidity and dews.
The cold at the close of the night is injurious.
Sowing of wheat (Lower Egypt). Appearance of first roses.
General tillage in Syria. Animals grow lean.
Planting of violets. Good season for preserving fruit.
Fresh winds.
First of the Leyal-el-Bulk.
Departure of the swallows. End of planting beans.
Sowing of poppies, fennel, and cumin.

Departure of birds of passage. Season of clouds.

Water should be drawn off lands prepared for sowing.
Planting of winter vegetables.
Proper season for ram. Suez Canal opened Nov. 17th 1869.
Abundance of bananas.
Prevalence of South (Mirisi) winds.
Drink warm water in the morning before eating. Send sheep to pasture.
The Sun enters Sagittarius.
Reptiles disappear. Radish seeds pressed for oil.
Water of Egypt gets cold. Wood cut now escapes being worm-eaten. End of planting chick-peas, lentils, etc.
— 24 —
Day of Week NOV.-
DECEMBER
 1878
HATOUR
1595
ZU 'L-HEGGEH

ZU 'L-HEGGEH. 1295.

Sun.
Mon.
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30
Planting of flax and hemp.
Season for navigation in the Indian Ocean.
Horses should be sent to pasture.
Avoid voyaging in the Mediterranean sea.
Food taken from the water is recommended.
Abundance of clouds. The close of the night is cold.
Ripening of chestnuts. Appearance of winter vegetables.
Gales of wind. Disturbance of the bile. Avoid drinking water at night.
Day of Arafat at Mekkeh. (Nahar-El-Wakfeh).
Eed-el-Kebir (Kourban Bairam).* Season for cutting the bark of the balsam tree.
Eed-el-Kebir.* Flies die off.
Eed-el-Kebir.* Olives pressed for oil. Colds prevalent.
Mosquitoes disappear. Strong, pungent perfumes are agreeable.
The "Kutrub" flower is in bloom.
Eat hot food to warm the stomach.
Som el-Milad (Fast of the Nativity) begins. Birds enter their nests.
Arrival of numerous foreign birds.
Snow falls in its place.
Avoid, at night, drinking water that has not been covered for 3 days.
Ants retire into their holes.
End of the Leyal el-Bulk (Black and white nights).
First of the Leyal es-Soud (Black nights). Serpents become blind.
The breathe is condensed in vapour.
The Sun enters Capricornus. Beginning of winter. The interior of the earth is warmed. Fleas appear.
Manuring of crops planted in the preceding month.
End of late nee harvest.
Season for transplanting large trees.
— 25 —
Day of Week DEC.1878-
JAN. 1879
   

MOHARREM. 1296.

Tues.
Wed.
Thur.
Frid.
Sat.
Sun.
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The leaves of rose-trees fall. Water on mountains freezes.
Christmas of the Europeans. Beginning of intense cold.
End of the falling of leaves. Plant asparagus (halioun).
Festival of Saint Daniel. Abundance of fleas.
The Annunciation. Dry food should be used.
Sugar cane cut for sale.
Coupling of camels.
Strong winds.
The eating of pigeons is liked, that of fish disliked.

 


— 29 — 

Note i.

ON THE KOPTIC CALENDAR.
 

"The Egyptians, they said, were the first to discover the Solar year, and to portion out its course into twelve parts,"
                                                                                                                                                        (Herodotus ii. 4.)

Origin of the Koptic year.—Ancient Egyptian Calendars: the year of 360 days: the year of 365 days: the "Sothic" year of 365¼ days.
—The "Sothic period".—Ancient Egyptian months, days, and hours.—The Koptic era, and bissextile system.

The Koptic is a solar year of 12 months (of 30 days) and of 5 (and every 4th year, 6) intercalary days. The 1st of Tout, the 1st month, always coincides with our 10th or 11th of September, and with the 29th August of the Julian Calendar.

The agreement, therefore, of the Koptic year with ours is as follows:

Tout commences on the 10th or 11th Sept.
Babeh "      " 10th or 11th Oct.
Hatour "      " 9 » 10 Nov.
Kyhak "      " 9 » 10 Dec.
Toubeh "      " 8 » 9 Jan.
Amshir "      " 7 » 8 Feb.
Barmahat "      " 9 March.
Barmoudeh "      " 8 April.
Bashans "      " 8 May.
Baouneh "      " 7 June.
Abib "      " 7 July.
Misreh "      " 6 August.

— 30 —

The Eyam-el-Nasi, or Intercalary days, beginning on the 5th September, complete the agreement of the Calendar.

As the modern Koptic Calendar is a legacy of ancient times, a sketch of its history will not be out of place.

It is supposed that in the earliest times in Egypt, as in India, the year was divided into 12 lunar months. To such a period we must refer for the explanation of the fact that the month is represented in hieroglyphics by the crescent of the moon; and hence, says Sir G. Wilkinson, might be derived an argument to prove that the use of hieroglyphics existed long before the very early date at which the lunar system was exchanged for the solar. He also quotes a propos of this subject Plutarch's statement that the 28 years of the reign of Osiris represent the period of days that the moon takes to perform its course round the earth.

We have next to see how in process of time the Egyptians originated 3 years of 360, 365, and 365¼ days respectively,

A. The year of 360 days. This was the first unintercalated solar year. "The Egyptians", said the priests to Herodotus, "were the first to discover the solar year, and to portion out its course into 12 parts. They obtained their knowledge from the stars" (ii.4). The threefold division of the year into seasons perhaps came into use at the same early period as this year of 360 days. It seems probable that this year was retained for registering the dates of kings: and in records and monumental Stelae: also, perhaps, for the celebration of certain festivals.

B. The year of 365 days. The disadvantage, for all purposes in which greater accuracy was required, of the year of 360 days necessitated a correction, and a calendar of 365 days was adopted, by the addition of 5 intercalary days. The religious sanction or association being, of course, re- 31 quired, it was said that it was Thoth (Hermes) who had invented these days, and that on them the 5 sons of Seb were born. This became "the sacred year". Kings were made to swear that they would retain this year of 365 days "without intercalating any day or month". Many festivals were probably celebrated according to this Calendar; and we know from Geminus the Rhodian that the Egyptians desired that their festivals should gradually revolve through all the seasons of the year.

C. The year of 365¼ days. Meanwhile, also at a very remote period, and while the other 2 systems remained in use, a fixed year had been devised, and was in use among the priests. The Egyptian astronomers had ascertained that neither did the intercalated Calendar of 365 days represent the true length of the solar year. They had therefore decided to arrive at an exact determination by astronomical observation. The heliacal rising of the Dog Star, Sirius (Sothis), was the point selected, and it was ascertained that a period of 365¼ days elapsed between two heliacal risings of the Dog Star on the horizon of Memphis, or the 30th degree of latitude. This, then, became the true Calendar, as employed by the priests or learned class, for .special purposes. It is the "Sothic" or canicular year, and it has been called the "Square year" (annus quadratus. Pliny ii. 47). In the time of the Ptolemies it was known as the Alexandrine year. It was converted into the Julian year by Sosigenes, the Egyptian astronomer, who merely transferred the New Year's day from autumn to winter, taking for his era the reputed date of the foundation of Rome.

This being the difference between the 2 Calendars last named, 1461 "vague" are equal to 1460 "square" years. — 32 — It had been ascertained, by observation, that exactly 1461 vague (or 1460 Sothic) years elapsed between two occasions in which Sothis rose with the Sun on the 1st Thoth of the vague year. The term "Sothic period" was given to this period of 1460 Sothic years, which brought into harmony the 2 Calendars in order to start afresh from the same point.

These observations and fixtures were made at a very remote period. In B.C. 1322 it was observed and recorded that New Year's day (1st Thoth) of the vague year coincided exactly with the heliacal rising of Sirius. Menophres was king at the time, and the title "era of Menophres" was given to this date, which acquired considerable celebrity as being the recorded point of departure for a new Sothic period.

To sum up: there were at least 3 Calendars in use in ancient Egypt, 2 vague years of 360 and365 days respectively, and one canicular, "Sothic", "square", or exact year of 365¼ days. When knowledge had advanced, and devised the true calendar, a religious conservatism retained in use the older system. The two latter, at any rate, were simultaneously used, both being sometimes quoted in the same record.

We have here merely repeated what has been hitherto accepted on the subject. It must, however, be observed that the learned are by no means agreed respecting various points connected with the Calendars of ancient Egypt. Those who wish to pursue the subject further must refer to the notes of Dr. Brugsch and other learned Egyptologists. Also one must always bear in mind what vast periods of time are comprehended under the term "ancient Egypt". Thus, as Dr. Brugsch reminds us, the Egyptians of the Roman period — 33 — looked back upon the ancient Egyptians almost as we do, speaking of one Calendar (beginning Thoth 9th) as that. "[Greek]"—"according to the ancients". What is important for us to know is that the so called "Alexandrine year" of 365¼ days, which was converted into the Julian, came into being at an extremely remote period—long before 1322 B.C, and that the vague year, which, in 22 B.C. fell on August 29 (Julian), was converted by Augustus into a similarly exact year, which the Kopts have handed down to our times.

The following remarks a propos of our subject, are all that need to be added.

The names of the months were of great antiquity. They were derived manifestly in some cases, and probably in all, from the names of certain tutelary deities, who were made to preside over these divisions of the year; and the names of these divinities were probably connected with certain characteristics of the different seasons of the year. The months Thoth, Athyr, Khoiak, and Pakhons took their names from the divinities Thoth, Hathor, Kihak, and Khons.

The Egyptians celebrated festivals to the new and full moon. &c.: but it seems, as Dr. Brugsch shows, that the Calendar of the sidereal, or exact, year, retained certain anniversaries, which originated in the time of the primitive lunar calendar, but which no longer corresponded with the phases of the moon to which the names referred.

Each day of the month had its eponymous fete, by which it was marked in addition to numerical signs. Thus the first of the month was called "the festival of the new moon" (the Day of Thoth).

The day was divided into 12 hours, as was also the night. Each of these 24 hours had its eponymous deity and was —  34 — denoted by the representation of this divinity: numerical figures from 1 to 12 being written by the side.

It is right, then, to say that in the modern Koptic Calendar, the old Egyptian year survives. Thus our Koptic Calendar with its paternal, and often naive, advice, has embalmed the thoughts and observations of some of the most ancient of mummies.

The Kopts date from the "era of Martyrs", i.e. from the 2nd year of Diocletian A.D. 284. Thus in the present calendar the year of the Hejra 1295 corresponds with the Koptic years 1594-1595.

Their bissextile system starts from the era of Menophres (1322 B.C. x 284 =) 1606 years before the Koptic era. The Koptic leap-year therefore always immediately precedes our own.


— 35 —

Note ii.

ON THE MOHAMMEDAN CALENDAR.

Having glanced at the history of the Koptic Calendar, we may now briefly refer to that of the Mohammedan or Arab months, and, in doing so, merely recapitulate what has been said upon the subject by M. Caussin de Perceval.

The 12 months, as at present named, were in use among the Arabs for a considerable period anterior to Islam. Their adoption is referred to the time of Kelab son of Morra, an ancestor of Mohammed, rather more than 200 years before the Hejra.

The four months Moharrem, Regeb, Zu'l-Kaadeh, and Zu'l-Heggeh were at this time set apart as periods of peace, during which all acts of hostility were, by common consent, forbidden. Their names express their sacred and inviolable character.

And here what is said by de Sacy, quoting from an Arab author, must not be forgotten; that before the time of the Prophet, the great tribe of Benou-Kenaneh, of which the Koreishites formed a division, retained the privilege of postponing, or of changing these months of truce: so that these periods were not always observed according to this original arrangement.

Leaving out of consideration the earliest Arab Calendar which was doubtless lunar: what was the length and character of the year at the period above alluded to? The answer is that it was probably a reformed luni-solar year, intended to correspond with the seasons of the true Calendar. — 36 — This conclusion respecting the Arab months being based upon a study of their names, we have to examine the etymology of such of them as are essential to the argument.

The following, then, is the opinion of Mr. Caussin de Perceval.

As regards the two Rabias: 'rabi" expresses verdure and spring rains. These two months would therefore mark the spring season characterized by rain and vegetation. As regards the two months "Gumad": the root "gamad" contains the idea of dryness and hardness. This etymology would therefore justify their position in the Calendar, as following the spring months, and the cessation of the rainy season. Ramadan signifies "great heat." This accordingly explains the position of a month which followed Gumad el-tani after an interval of two months, and was characterized by the greatest heat of midsummer. If such etymology be correct, argues Mr. Caussin de Perceval, it is to be inferred that the Arabs, when they adopted these names, did not make use of a system that was purely lunar: for the lunar year being shorter than the solar by about eleven days, the agreement of the months with the seasons which their names expressed would be so soon deranged, that such a supposition would be irrational.

It seems, at the same time, certain that in the earliest times the Arabs made use of the purely lunar system: their months bearing no relation to the various seasons of the year; and the names being different to those now in use. The important period of the annual pilgrimage therefore revolved through all the months of the year, as it does at the present time. But this was the cause of much incon- — 37 — venience to the pilgrims, both during the journey, and during the sojourn at Mekkeh and the other places at which, during the same period, various annual fairs took place. It therefore became desirable to fix the season of the pilgrimage at such a time as should furnish the most abundant supply of fruits and other produce, in other words the autumn.

This being so, the Arabs, it would seem, adopted from the Jews established at Yathreb a system of intercalation, by means of which their calendar became luni-solar. There is a strong probability that the 5 months whose names seem to express a relation to the vicissitudes of season, were simultaneously adopted together with this reformed Calendar.

This reformation of the Calendar was, however, approximate, not complete: and in this fact we must find the explanation of the fact that the pilgrimage made by Mohammed at the end of the 10th year of the Hejra fell on the 9th of March A.D. 632,—a date which seems to be fixed beyond dispute. To explain more clearly by figures:—

  Days. Hours. Min. Sec.

3 Solar years   .............

1095 17 28 15
3 Arab years (including one intercalated) 1092 15 3 0

Difference = 

3 2 25 15

So that after every series of 3 years the beginning of the new Arab year would recede from the solar year by three days and a fraction.

Thus the Arab months would gradually cease to correspond with the seasons of the solar year. A generation, however, would have passed away before the derangement would have become so striking as to call for a further rectification; and by the time that the correspondence altogether ceased, the force of custom would have caused the — 38 —  Arabs to retain a system that had been found to be inexact. Such is the argument of M. de Perceval.

For fifty years the season of the pilgrimage would continue to fall in the season of fruits, and thus the original object of the reformed calendar would continue to be attained. It is when the season gradually fell into the months of August, July, and June that we find cause to wonder at the persistence of the Arabs in maintaining a system of intercalation which had failed to rectify the defects and inconveniencies of that which it superseded. The explanation is found in the persistence of a custom which had acquired the force of a religious prejudice.

M. de Perceval also refers to other fixed dates in support of his theory.

The luni-solar method of reckoning was abolished by Mohammed in the 12th month of the 10th year of the Flight, at the time of the pilgrimage before alluded to. From that time up to the present the purely lunar system has remained in use.

 


— 39 —

Note iii.

HISTORICAL CONSIDERATIONS SUGGESTED BY THE CALENDAR.

Not only does the calendar take us back in imagination to the remotest times of ancient Egypt, but it suggests here and there, amongst its miscellaneous notices, reflections upon almost all the more important periods of her subsequent history. Following M. Tissot's example, let us glance briefly at some of these allusions, and their probable interpretation.

To begin with, there are one or two statements of the Calendar which some would explain by supposed changes in the physical conditions of the country. The notice respecting the ostrich would thus be referred to a period in which the range of that bird extended much further north than it does at present: the northern limit at present being about the district of Dongola. Ebony is also mentioned in the Calendar; but the limit of its growth is at present equally distant. Be the explanation what it may, it is certain that in remote times ostriches formed part of the live stock of Egyptian landowners: and flocks of them are to be seen figuring amongst the mural decorations of ancient tombs. These two notices suggest the opinions which have been based upon the disappearance, or diminution, of other birds such as the ibis, and other plants, such as the papyrus and lotus; and we can only barely allude to the subject.2 — 40 — It will be noticed that the anniversary of the fall of manna and quails figures quaintly among the occurrences.

Why does the Egyptian Calendar mention the rise and fall of the Euphrates, as, indeed, the Armenian Calendar records the rise and fall of the Nile? As an answer to the question, let us quote M. Tissot "Going back" he says "to the 16th century B.C. history exhibits to us Egypt at the height of her grandeur: and Totmes III extending his conquests over a glorious reign of 47 years. He advances in all directions the limits of his empire, ascending the Euphrates, and carrying his arms into the mountains of Armenia, which supply the sources of that river. By a wise administration the entire valley remained for several centuries under the dominion of the Pharaohs. No long time, we may suppose, would be required by so observant a people as the ancient Egyptians to fix their attention on the regularity of the physical laws to which the Euphrates was subject, and to perceive that it was, as it were, a reversed copy of the Nile: the fact being that the Euphrates is at the height of its rise while the Nile is at its lowest: and the fall of the former coincides with the rise of the latter. Both streams find an outlet in almost the same latitude and the courses of the streams in opposite directions made it appear as if they strove to meet each other. These harmonious coincidences were of a nature to fascinate the minds of men who were lovers of symmetry, as were the ancients; while, on the other hand, the inhabitants of the Euphrates valley, enlightened by their conquerors respecting the close resemblance existing between the two rivers, learned to know and to bless the Egyptian Nile which supplied Mesopotamia during its years of famine, and appeared to furnish them with the means of regulating and supplementing their own stream."

— 41 —

In order to explain any allusions which have a Persian origin, we must take our minds back to the times when Egypt was a satrapy of the great kingdom of Persia. It is interesting to perceive how closely the condition of Egypt at that period resembled the state of Egypt as a Pashalik of Turkey. The Persian rule lasted for 120 years; and in the time of Herodotus the Persian garrison at Memphis consisted of 120,000 men. We have also to remember that, in conformity with one of the modes of subjugation practised by the Persians upon conquered races, large numbers of Egyptians were at various periods transported to Asia. Thus Kambyses carried away a largo number to Susa: and perhaps the "Egyptian villages" in Asia minor spoken of by Xenophon were also peopled by Egyptians transported for rebellion.3 As regards traces of the Persian dominion in Egypt, the fortress of Babylon (near old Cairo) is supposed to have derived its name from the Persians who previously held a garrison there. The word "Bablun" still survives, as the name of a neighbouring convent: and another spot close by, that goes by the name of Kasr-el-Shama (the castle of Light ) is thought by some to mark the spot where once stood a temple of fire worshippers.

The connection, geographical and historical, between Egypt and Syria being so close, it is but natural that there should be frequent allusions to the latter country in an Egyptian almanac. And indeed it is in Masudi's account of the Syrian months that we find explanations of certain, and otherwise ambiguous, points in the Koptic Calendar.


— 42 —

Note iv.

GENERAL REMARKS ON EGYPTIAN CALENDARS.

Some years ago Almanacs used to be published on long rolls of paper, which were sometimes coloured according to the 4 seasons of the year: viz.: blue (for the Nile season), green (as emblematic of the verdure and luxuriant vegetation of winter), red (for the season of fruits and flowers), and yellow (for the parching heat of summer and autumn). In Syria, Almanacs bearing much resemblance to the Egyptian, are still written on long rolls of paper or parchment in black and red ink, and we have seen an exact reproduction, as yet unpublished, of one of these in English by Mr. E. T. Rogers.

An ordinary Egyptian Almanac of the present day is a little book, generally measuring about 3½ by 2½ inches, and consisting of from 50 to 70 pages. It opens, in orthodox fashion, with a short tribute of praise to God the Creator, "from whom all blessings are derived". Then follow salutations to the Prophet "the Sun of Happiness who directs men in the right way: to his family, his companions and his disciples". Then is stated the reliance of the author upon Divine aid, in his undertakings. On the 3rd page are given the days of the Koptic, Frank, Greek, and Hebrew Calendars that correspond to the 1st day of the Mohammedan year. The following page fixes the commencement of the four seasons. Next come the dates of the — 43 — Sun's entrance in the signs of the zodiac. On page 6 are given the stations of the Moon. Then follows the Calendar which generally extends over 48 pages. It is so arranged that each half month extends over 2 pages, occupying 13 parallel columns.

In the first column come the days of the week.

Then follow in 5 columns, the corresponding days of the Arab, Koptic, "Frank", Greek, and Hebrew months current. Next comes the record of the Sun's course in the sign mentioned at the head of the Column. Then, in 5 Columns, come the hours and minutes as calculated for the 5 daily prayers of the Faithful for every day in the year. Lastly in a wider column, or margin, are recorded the notices appropriate to each day.

It can thus be seen how much has been omitted from, and how much added to the above in our present Calendar of the months. We have omitted the Greek, and Jewish months, the course of the sun in the Zodiac, and the hours of Muslim prayer. What we have supplied consists chiefly of Muslim fetes, and moulids.

The last pages of the native Almanacs are devoted to notices of the eclipses of sun or moon during the year; after which follows the name of the astronomer who compiled the work.

The last sentence, as found in some almanacs, deserves a full translation:

"The printing of this Calendar was effected in the printing office under the shadow (or protection) of him, whose generosity is as beneficent as the overflow of the Nile, the Khedive Ismail. Praise be to God, the First and the Last, the unseen and the revealed; and blessings and peace be upon Mohammed, upon his family, and upon all who weave in his loom."

— 44 —

For the month of Ramadan special Diaries, called "Imsakieh" are prepared, and printed on a single sheet of coloured paper, or on silk for presentation to the wealthy. These diaries contain the hours and minutes of the 6 most important periods of the day, with a view to prayer and fasting. A specimen of a portion of an Imsakieh is given on another page.

It is the custom for the authors of Calendars to present copies handsomely bound in silk, or velvet, at the Kourban Bairam or shortly before the new year, to great personages of their acquaintance.

Regarded as an agricultural guide, the Koptic Calendar is a rough but useful companion: but it is, of course, very incomplete. Various inaccuracies have, no doubt, crept into it, in course of time: and in order to render it a really serviceable farmers' almanac, considerable corrections and readjustments would have to be made. There would be much to add, and some little to take away. A complete agricultural and botanical calendar would be of great value and interest, and we are glad to know that M. Delchevalerie, who presides so ably over the Khedive's botanical gardens, has been, for some years past, collecting copious notes for a publication of this nature: which we hope will before long make its appearance.

It is sometimes said that the threefold division of the Egyptian year into "the Nile" (or period of inundation); winter, and summer, survives in popular language to the present day. As far as we can ascertain, this is no longer the case, or, at any rate, not so to the exclusion of the fourfold division of seasons. It is true that the term '"Nile" is often used to express the period of the inundation, and this again is sometimes subdivided unto "the rising Nile" — 45 — and "the subsiding Nile". But the year is divided into the 4 regular seasons which are in Arabic EI-Rabia, (Spring), El-Seyf (Summer), el-Kharif (Autumn), and El-Shita (Winter). It may be that in some parts of Upper Egypt the threefold division remains exclusively in use. It is also, we may add, probable that many interesting facts connected with subject of Egyptian Calendars might be elicited from the conservative inhabitants of the old Koptic villages of Upper Egypt, who have preserved unchanged the customs of their forefathers.

A word as to superstitions. So numerous are they, in connection with particular months, days, and hours, that a volume would he required to deal with them. Herklot's "Quanoon i Islam" treats somewhat exhaustively of the superstitions of Indian Muslims, and the curious reader who has perused that work, will not be wrong if he imagine that an equal or greater number might be collected by any one who should explore the strongholds of Egyptian superstition. Masudi speaks of the fortunate and unfortunate days of ante-Islam Arabia. The briefest allusions to certain superstitions in the Glossary is all that we can here attempt: but it may be mentioned that amongst other evidences of "civilization", the Turks and others have imported some of our fashionable superstitions. Thus the upper classes have adopted a certain dread of the number 13, and will not sit down with that number, at table. Some go so far as to object to start on a voyage, or journey on the 13th of the month, again we were even told by the local papers in August 1877, that the day first fixed for the ceremony of "Cutting the Canal" was changed, because the Governor of Cairo had discovered that this day was the 13th of the Koptic Misreh.

— 46 —

Calendars of the Koptic Church. Various Church Calendars exist among the Kopts, and the Rev. S. C. Malan has published one of these, translated from a MS. used in a Jacobite Church in Cairo; which is the most complete that has appeared. The traveller who desires to study the institutions of the Koptic Church, will do well to obtain au introduction to some member of the Koptic Community, who can speak English or French. Such an acquaintance would no doubt, be able to obtain an invitation to assist at a Koptic wedding, should it be desired.

In 1876 the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Egypt by order of the Khedive, for all civil and administrative purposes. Previously the Koptic was in use.

The Mohammedan Calendar remains in use for all religious observances.


— 47 —

HOURS OF MUSLIM PRAYER

The following Table shews the times of Muslim prayer, with the apparent European time of sunset,
 in and near the latitude of Cairo, at the commencement of each zodiacal month:—
4
 
 

Sunset.

'Eshdh Daybreak. Noon. 'Asr.

June 21

Mo. T. Eur. T. Mo. T. Mo. T. Mo. T Mo. T.

July. 22
Aug. 23
Sep. 23
Oct. 23
Nov. 22

May 21
Apr. 20
Mar. 20
Feb. 18
Jan. 20
Dec. 21

h. m.
12  0
12 0
12  0
12  0
12  0
12  0
12  0
h. m.
7 4
6 53
 6 31
6 4
5 37
5 15
5 4
h. m.
1 34
1 30
1 22
1 18
1 18
1 22
1 24
h. m.
8 6
8 30
9 24
10 24
11 18
11 59
12 15
h. m.
4 50
5 7
5 29
5 56
6 23
6 45
6 56
h. m.
8 31
8 43
9 4
9 24
9 35
9 41
9 43

 


SPECIMEN OF PORTION OF AN IMSAKIEH FOR THE MONTH OF RAMADAN 1294. A.H.
 

HELP IS FROM GOD, AND VICTORY IS NEAR.

Imsakieh for Ramadan
 the honoured.

For the year 1294. The first day begins
 on the EVE of Sunday.

Day of the week.

Day of the Month.

'Esheh.
 h. m.
Imsak.
h. m
Fegr.
h. m.
Sherook
h. m.
Duhr.
h. m.
Asr.
h. m.
Sunday. ...
Monday...
Tuesday....
Wednesday
Thursday..
Friday. ...
Saturday...
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1. 19
 . 19
. 19
. 19
. 19
. 19
. 18
9. 40
. 41
. 43
. 45
. 47
. 49
. 51
10. 0
. 1
. 3
. 5
. 7
. 3
. 11
11. 28
. 30
. 32
 . 34
. 36
. 37
. 39
5. 44
 . 45
. 46
. 47
. 48
. 49
. 50
9. 16
 . 17
. 17
. 18
. 18
. 19
. 20

 


— 48 —

Table showing the agreement of the Mohammedan with the Gregorian and Julian Calendars till 1900 A. D.
(From the "Art de verifier les dates.")

YEAR of the HEGRA
 1st of MOHARREM.
GREGORIAN YEAR.
 A.D.
JULIAN YEAR.
A.D.
DAY OF THE
 WEEK.

1296
1297
1298
1299
1300
1301
1302
1303
1304
1305
1306
1307
1308
1309
1310
1311
1312
1313
1314
1315
1316
1317
1318

1878 Dec. 26
1879 Dec. 15
1880 Dec. 4
1881 Nov. 23
1882 Nov. 12
1883 Nov. 2
1884 Oct. 21
1885 Oct. 10
1886 Sept. 30
1887 Sept. 19
1888 Sept. 7
1889 Aug. 28
1890 Aug. 17
1891 Aug. 7
1892 July 26
1893 July 15
1894 July 5
1895 June 24
1896 June 12
1897 June 2
1898 May 22
1899 May 12
1900 May 1

Dec. 14
Dec. 3
Nov. 22
Nov. 11
Oct. 31
Oct. 21
Oct. 9
Sept. 25
Sept. 18
Sept. 7
Aug. 26
Aug. 16
Aug. 5
July 26
July 14
July 3
June 23
June 13
May 31
May 21
May 20
April 30
April 18

Thursday.
Monday.
Saturday.
Wednesday.
Sunday.
Friday.
Tuesday.
Saturday.
Thursday.
Monday.
Friday.
Wednesday.
Sunday.
Friday.
Tuesday.
Saturday
Thursday.
Monday.
Friday.
Wednesday.
Sunday.
Friday.
Tuesday.

 


— 49 —

DIARY FOR THE WEEK IN CAIRO.

SUNDAY (Nahar el-Had).

Morning. The women of Cairo visit the Mosques of the Seyyideh Zeynab, and the Sitt Nefiseh.
    Services in the Koptic, Armenian, Greek, English ( Church of England), German (Protestant), French (Roman Catholic) and other Churches.
Afternoon. Zikr of Kadrieh Dervishes at the Tekkiet Ashrafleh (near the mosque of Nefiseh) at 3 p. m.
    Market day at Gizeh. The evening (eve of Monday) is considered fortunate for Muslim marriages: next to that of Friday.
    Sunday is generally considered an unfortunate day, as preceding that on which the Prophet died.

MONDAY (Nahar el-Etnln).

Morning. Market day in the (Khan Khalil) Turkish and neighbouring bazaars.
Evening. Zikr of Kadrieh Dervishes at the Tekkieh Zawiet Haioumeh, after the esheh.
    Monday is considered by some unfortunate, by other fortunate. Linen must not be washed; and no sewing or cutting with scissors must be done on this day.

— 50 —

TUESDAY (Nahar et-Talateh).

Morning. Visits are made, chiefly by men, to the Mosque of the Hasaneyn.
Afternoon. Zikr of Kadrieh Dervishes at the Tekkieh Shakoun, adjoining the Mosque of Shakoun.
    Visits of sick persons to the Mosque of Abou Saoud near the Mosque of Amr.
    Tuesday is unfortunate. It is called "the day of blood'' from the death of many martyrs. It is a favourable day for being bled.

WEDNESDAY (Nahar el-Arbaa).

Morning. Casting out of devils at the Koptic Convent of Saint Theodore (Mar Tadrus), in the Har't er-Roura.
    The women (Muslim) of Cairo visit the Mosque of Seyyideh Zeynab.
    Wednesday is considered a fortunate day for travelling, generally, but by some among the upper classes unfortunate. The reading of books should be begun on this day: if begun on any other day they are likely not to be finished. Milk should not be drunk.

THURSDAY (Nahar el-Khamts).

    Market day in the Khan Khalil and neighbouring bazaars.
    Zikr of Kadrieh Dervishes at the Tekkieh Sulimanieh, (in the Serougieh) at 3 p. m.
Evening. The eve of Friday is preferred for Muslim marriages.
    Zikr of Kadrieh Dervishes, after the Esheh, at the Tekkieh Gulsheni (near the Bab et-Mutaweli), at the Tekkieh Zawiet Haloumeh.
    Thursday—el-Mubarek (the Blessed)—is a fortunate day: it is favourable for all undertakings.

— 51 —

FRIDAY (Nahar el-Goumah).

    Visits to the Tomb of the Imam esh-Shafei.
    Public prayers and sermons in the Mosques.
    Zikr of Mowlowieh Dervishes (the "Whirlers") at their Tekkieh in the Heimieh, at 2 pm.
    Zikr of Kadrieh Dervishes ( the "Howlers") at the Tekkiet Eyoub, at Kasr el-Eyn, at 2 pm.
    Zikrs at various Mosques (the Hasaneyn, Bioumi , &c.)
    Exorcism and healing of sick by immersion in water, at the Mosque of Tashtoushi (near the Bab esh-Sharieh), at the Mosques of Sharaiwi, and other Saints.
    Zars frequent; at the tomb of Sheikh el-Beydak, Sheikh Ashmawi, &c. and in private.
    Friday—"el-Fadileh (the Excellent)"—is the most fortunate of days. Baths should be taken: perfumes used: clean clothes worn: and prayer earnestly made. No sweeping and no sewing should by done. Water must not be drawn from wells during divine service in the Mosques.

SATURDAY (Nahares-Sabt).

    Women visit the Mosques of Sultan Kalaoun (for healing sick), of the Hasaneyn, and of Sultan Gowli (adjoining the "Mastaba Faraoun") for sore eyes.
    Market day at Boulak (cattle, &c.), and at Embabeh (cattle and general).
    The evening (eve of Sunday) preferred for Koptic marriages.
    Sunday in the most unfortunate of days. It is unfavourable for voyages and for almost all undertakings. Fish must not be eaten, nor milk drunk. No baths should be taken.


—  55 — 

GLOSSARY

Almanac. The word is very ancient. It is found with the meaning that we attach to it in Eusebius (Prop. Ev. iii. 92. D), in the form [Greek] or [Greek]. M. Lenormant proposes an Egyptian etymology. In Koptic al signifies calculation, and men memory; whence one can compose the word almeneg—calculation for the memory. The Egyptian etymology has a certain probability. Other derivations proposed include that of the article al and the Hebrew manah—to "count". (See Liddell's Dictionary) .

Abdallawi melon. One of the favourite species of Egyptian melons. It is vulgarly supposed to have been miraculously created by one of the Pharaohs. El-Makrizi refers its introduction into Egypt to the time of Abdallah ibn Takir, about two centuries after the Hegra.

Abib. The eleventh month of the Koptic year (the ancient Epiphi). Grapes are abundant, and figs that come in with the grapes are excellent. Sweet pears are plentiful. Abdallawi melons deteriorate in quality. Dates are now excellent. Honey that remains is collected. The Nile rises vigorously. Flax is soaked. Bersim and flax seeds are sold. Saffron is gathered. (El-Makrizi).

Abou'l-Abbass. One of the chief Mosques of Alexandria is dedicated to Abou'l-Abbas. A large moulid is held annually in the vicinity of this Mosque, which is in the direction of Ras-et-tin, and is generally fixed so as to fall a week before that of Sidi Gaber at Ramleh. The 15th of Ramadan is also specially observed at the Mosque of Abdu'l-Abbas — 56 — Abou'l-Eyleh (properly Abou'l-Ola). The Mosque of this "Sultan" or Saint is at Bou'ak, and is greatly visited. An annual moulid is held in his honour immediately after that of the Prophet, numerous tents being arranged along the Boulak road, and in the vicinity of the Mosque. The usual amusements are provided.

Abou Rash. The patron Saint of Damanhour, where his Mosque and tomb are to be seen. Three moulids are held annually in his honour, after those of Ibrahim ed-Dessouki. These fairs, for they are such, are largely attended. The canal which passes the town is crowded with boats, which become the scene of much gaiety; as do the banks, which are then covered with tents.

Abou Saoud. A celebrated Saint and physician of his time, whose tomb and Mosque are to be seen in a state of semi-ruin, amidst the rubbish heaps between Cairo and Fostat. Sick persons are brought in great numbers to be healed at this Mosque on Tuesday afternoons. A zikr of Leysieh and other dervishes is performed.

Alili. One of the greatest of Muslim Saints buried at Cairo. The Mosque containing his bones is on E. side of the "Tombs of the Khalifs". A large sect of Dervishes is named after him as spiritual leader. An extensive moulid is held annually in his honour in the autumn, immediately after that of Bioumi, and is thus not lunar. Innumerable tents are arranged amidst the city of tombs, and the Bedouins and Fellahin muster in very great force. The moulid is well worth witnessing.

Ahmed el-Bedawi. The Seyyid Ahmed "el Bedawi" was born at Fez in 596 A.H. (1200 A.D.). On returning from a pilgrimage to Mekkeh, through Egypt, he adopted Tanta as his home. The Seyyid Ahmed is one of greatest of Muslim Saints. He is styled the "Sheikh si-Arab". His name is associated with those of the members of the Prophet's family and the "favourites of God". He is frequently invoked by the Egyptians. He has a numerous following of Dervishes,—the Ahmedieh,—who are subdivided into various sects. The Mosque dedicated to him at Tanta, in —  57 — which is his tomb, is one of the largest and most important in Egypt It is considered very meritorious by the Egyptians, for those who cannot undertake the pilgrimage to Mekkeh, to visit seven times the tomb of the Sheikh Ahmed. Tradition says that the site of his Mosque was formerly that of a Church dedicated to some Christian Saint, which again had taken the place of a temple erected to some ancient Egyptian divinity. Another legend, more than doubtful, asserts that the Seyyid was originally a Christian Crusader who embraced Islam. As to the great moulid of this Arab Saint we allude to it under its for better known and more appropriate name of the Tanta Fair.

Amr. (Often written Amrou) ibn el-Asi, general of the Khalifeh Omar and conqueror of Egypt. He built the first Egyptian Mosque on the spot where his tent had been pitched at Fostat. It has been frequently rebuilt and now stands half in ruin amidst the rubbish heaps of "Old Cairo." On the last Friday in Ramadan an annual service is held at this Mosque to commemorate the establishment of Islam in Egypt. Persons of all ranks including the kadi and other officials, flock there. The Khedive, if not present in person, is represented by one or more of his sons. A detachment of soldiers is drawn up near the entrance of the Mosque. The ensemble presents an interesting scene. There is a popular superstition connected with this day, which asserts that on some one of these occasions the Mosque, together with its whole congregation, will be caught up into the heavens.

Amshir. Sixth Koptic month. Land is prepared for summer planting. Dykes are cut, and registers of lands made. The transplanting of trees and pruning of vines now end. The season for artificial hatching of eggs begins and continues for four months—till Bashans. Portions of taxes are paid. Porous earthenware vessels should be made in this month, as they preserve their qualities of cooling water better than those made at any other time. The fruit of the lote tree (nabk) and almonds ripen. Violets — 58 — and many other flowers are in full bloom. Here is a rhyme for the month:—"Amshir Yakoul lizarah—Sir Wayilhakk biltowil el-Kasir." (Amshir says to the plants "Shoot up; the small now overtake the tall.") There is much wind, chiefly from the N., but cold diminishes. (el-Makrizi).

Ashr. The name commonly given to the first ten days of Moharrem: a period in which it is customary to give the alms ordained by religion (Zekaa) to the poor; and respecting which numerous superstitions prevail in Cairo, (see Lane's "Egyptians").

Ashoura. (1) Leylet Ashoura (The eve of "Ashoura"—the 10th day.) Admission should be requested to the house in which take place the Persian, or Shiah, ceremonies peculiar to this anniversary, in commemoration of the death, or "Martyrdom", of Hussein. It may be obtained through any person of influence, Turk or Persian, in Cairo: or perhaps, failing this, through the English Consul. The celebration is held in the court of some wealthy Persian's house, or of one untenanted and hired for the occasion. The death of Hussein is dramatically represented. The fierce performances of certain Asiatic dervishes, who gash themselves with swords, while the blood streams from their heads, will probably be soon abolished. The pathetic recital, by a mollah, of the life and death of the son of Ali, which moves all Persians to sobs and tears, is exceedingly impressive.

Ashoura. (2) Yom Ashoura. The last few nights of the Ashr are observed with special solemnity by Shiah Muslims: but the 10th of Moharrem is peculiarly sacred to all Muslims alike. The following events are said to have taken place on this day. The descent of Adam and Eve from Paradise; the first fall of rain: the Creation of Various portions of of the Universe: the entrance of Noah into the Ark: and the death of the Martyr Hussein. Mohammed is said to have enjoined on his followers 10 precepts. (See Herklot's Quanoon-i-Islam, p. 98). A particular dish, also called — 59 — Ashoura, is made on this day. It consists of wheat boiled and sweetened, with dates, nuts, and other dried fruits. Presents of this dish, sometimes with small gold coins sprinkled upon it, are sent to friends and relatives from harems of the wealthy, and may be seen carried through the streets, covered with richly embroidered cloths. The common name for the dish is "hoboub" It is probable that originally this dish was proper to the Norez es-Sultani, and that it celebrated the coming in of the harvest. All the old fruits &c., that had been kept during the winter were now made use of for this dish, and the season of fresh fruits was thus inaugurated.

Asr. The hour of the fifth daily Muslim prayer. The exact time of the Asr is between noon and sunset, when the shadow of an object equals the length of the object added to the shadow it casts at noon (duhr). Generally—the afternoon.

Aysha. The daughter of Abou-Bekr, and third wife of Mohammed. She was the only wife that the Prophet married while a virgin; hence the surname of her father whose name was Abdallah. Her authority was great among the Muslims even in matters of doctrine and religion : hence her title "Nebleh"—Prophetess. The history of her life is interesting. It was at her house at Medina that the Prophet died. She herself died at Medina in 58 A.H. (677 A.D.). For her descended. a great part of ch. xxiv (the Light) of the Kuran (see v. 11. &c.).

A Mosque and Cenotaph at Cairo is dedicated to the Sitt Aysha en-Nebawieh, as she is there called: near the Bab el-Karafeh. An annual moulid is there held in the month of Rabiaet-tani.

Babeh. (The ancient Paopi) the 4th Koptic month. Winter sowing (Zarah Shitweh) begins. The 4th of Babeh is marked in all calendars as inaugurating the period of general cultivation. All seeds are planted that require no tillage of the soil after the inundation. In many parts the fellah begins with saffron and early corn. Small fish are very abundant in the Nile waters. Large fish diminish in — 60 — size and number, with the exception of the kinds called "rai" and "ebrimis'', which grow and fatten. Pomegranates are better now than in any other month. Cows, sheep, and goats produce their young. Nile fish are salted (bouri). Meat is not so good now as in other seasons, many animals being sick and lean from the heat of the Nile water. Fruits are abundant; and many flowers are now planted. (El-Makrizi). Babeh 30th "Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. May he health to us". (Church Calendar).5

Badingan. The egg plant, abundant in Egypt, and of two kinds, black and white. The Egyptians say that during the season of badingan madness is unusually prevalent. The tomato is also called "Badingan outah".

Bairam. See Eed el-Kebir and Eed es-Sugheier.

Balsam. (Amyris opobalsama). The tree yieldings the celebrated balsam used to be cultivated specially in the district of Matarieh, a village about 6 miles N. of Cairo, near the ruins of Heliopolis. Here is to be seen "the Virgin Mary's tree", presented by the Khedive to the Empress Eugenie. The Festival of Balsam referred to in the calendar was no doubt celebrated annually like the "Feast of the Roses."

Bamieh. (Hibiscus esculenta). This vegetable is much grown in Egypt. The mucilaginous pod forms a common and much esteemed dish: being generally prepared with chopped, fried meat,—lime juice being afterwards added.

Barakeh. Fennel. "Habbet el-barakeh"—the small black seeds of fennel, are used for various purposes, especially for flavouring cakes, bread, &c. Also called "habbeh soda" (black seed).

Bar'd el-Abouz, (Old folks' cold). This name is given to 7 days that follow the 2nd "Black and white Nights" and are coupled with the evil wind-"Hosssoum". The Arabs, says Mas'udi, have given names to each of these days. —  61 — The poet has said "Winter is pursued by seven days, sombre and ill-omened,—by es-Sin, by es-Sinabr, by el-Wabr, by Amir and his brother Moutamr, by Moualil and by Moutfl el-Gamr." They correspond, he says, to the last three days of Shebat and the first four of Adar. They are found in the Syrian Calendars. They mark some period of winter supposed to be particularly injurious to old and feeble persons: and are perhaps the antithesis of the 7 days of extreme heat (bawahir) at midsummer.

Barmahat, (the ancient Phamendth) the 7th Koptic month. Cucurbitas and summer produce generally begin to be cultivated. Beans and lentils are ripe: flax is cut: and sugar cane is planted in lands already prepared for it. Standing crops are cleared of weeds. There is a general flowering of trees. Quails are in their best condition. N. Winds are most prevalent. Further portions of taxes are gathered. This is the season for the arrival of foreign ships. Troops are now stationed at the Mediterranean ports of Alexandria, Damietta, Rosetta, and Tanis. The fleets of Egypt are also placed in a state of preparation in the harbours. (El Makrizi).*

Barmoudeh (the ancient Pharmuthi), the 8th Koptic month. End of cultivation generally. Beans and wheat are now cut. The acacia medicinalis (Kiah Shambar) is planted: also badingan and melokhieh. Flax seeds are separated. Roses, which are abundant, are sweeter than in any other month. The first honey is taken, and early sycamore figs are plucked. Portions of taxes gathered. Much acacia (sant) wood is now cut as an equivalent for certain Taxes,—according to an old custom of the Fatimieh and Eyoubieh dynasties; and is brought by Nile to Cairo, being used for fuel in the great kitchens of the King. (El-Makrizi).

Barmoudeh 30th Martyrdom of S. Mark, Apostle and Evangelist First Patriarch of Alexandria. (Church Calendar).

Bashans, (the ancient Pashons) the 9th Koptic month. Corn is threshed and winnowed: also flax. Straw and chaff stored. Balsam trees planted, trimmed and watered. It is from the middle of Tout to the end of Hatour (later the —  62 — better) that the bark of the tree is scored for extracting the juice; the quality of which will be better, if there be plenty of dew. The juice should be kept one year exposed to dew, and the process of boiling the balsam should be performed in the spring, in Barmahat. "Kasimi" apples are ripe, and "Miski" apples begin to ripen. Abdallawi melons begin to come in, "Goibi" (Tunisian) melons appear: also apricots and "Zuhri" peaches. White roses are plucked. N. winds are chiefly prevalent. Land measurements are renewed: and extra taxes, if required, fixed. (El-Makrizi).

Bashans 8th Our Lord Jesus Christ went up on high into the heavens. 9th Rest in the Lord of S, Helena, the queen. 24th. On this day, Our Lord, to whom be glory, came into the land of Egypt. (Church Calendar).

Baounah, (the ancient Payni), 10th Koptic month. Opening of navigation on the Nile, for the transportation of grain, straw, raw sugar, molasses and honey from Kousieh (the districts about Kous), and lower Egypt. Honey is still collected. The zekaa (alms ordained by religion) is given in kind by those possessing vineyards. Indigo (ulleh) is planted in U. Egypt, and is ready to cut in 100 days. The roots are left, and the indigo is collected every 100 days. In fertile lands it will thus produce for 3 years. Water should be given,—in the first year, twice in 10 days; in the second, three times in 10 days: and in the third, four times in 10 days. Figs of Fayoum, with peaches, and plums are ready; also pears, early grapes, and black mulberies. Katha cucumbers ripe: also saffron. Early dates plucked. Figs better now than in any other month. (El-Makrizi).

Baounah 10th, commemoration of the great joy that filled the whole earth (probably for deliverance from the persecution of Christians by Sultan Hakim ). 2nd, It is the custom in some villages of Egypt to hold a feast on this day to the Archangel Gabriel. 21st, Commemoration of our Lady Mary. 30th, On this day was born S. John the Baptist, greatest among those born of women. (Church Calendar).

Bersim (Trifolium Alexandrinum), the rich Egyptian clover —  63 — of which two, three, or sometimes even four crops are raised from one sowing.

Bioumi. The Seyyid Ali el-Bionmi died towards the end of the 12th century of the Hegra. He is greatly venerated in Egypt, and the order of Bioumieh dervishes, which is an offshoot of that of the Ahmedieh, is one of the most extensive of the more conspicuous orders. A Mosque, plain and uninteresting, is dedicated to this Saint in the N. districts of Cairo.

The great Moulid of Bioumi is celebrated annually at the time of the high Nile, generally in October, and not according to the lunar Calendar. Like that of the Rufai, it is only second to the Moulid en-Nabi. The scene of the Festival is the desert tract N. of Cairo, bordering on the Abbassieh road. Innumerable feasts take place during the nights, amidst a blaze of lights: and all the characteristics of an Egyptian Moulid are to be found. There is one particular spot at which the Fathah should be recited, to insure the remission of a whole year's sins.

Black nights. See Leyal es-Soud.

Black and White Nights. See Leyal-el Bulk.

Bekrieh. The family of the Sheikh el-Bekri, who claims descent from the Khalifeh Abou-Bekr, and who is recognized as the spiritual Chief of all the Dervishes of Egypt. The tombs and Mosque of the Bekrieh are to the S. of that of the Imam esh-Shafei. A Moulid, celebrated on the 23rd of Shaaban, is not of public interest.

Canal (Cutting of the)—an annual festival that inaugurates the irrigation of Lower Egypt. It takes place generally about the middle of August; the exact date depending upon the amount of the Nile's rising. The mouth of the "Khalig" or Canal, which receives the Nile waters in the direction of Old Cairo, having been previously dammed up, is now opened. The ceremony, formerly celebrated with far more pomp than at present, is the survival of an ancient Egyptian Festival in which it is said that a girl, decked as the "bride of the Nile," used to be thrown into the rising waters, in order to propitiate the River God;— — 64 — "the single gift of the lands virginity Demanded in those old Egyptian rites." The eve of the appointed day is observed with rejoicing and "fantasia." All night long the Nile and its banks, opposite the Island of Roda, present a fairy-like scene. The steamers of the Viceroy, containing members of his Harem and Family, form a glittering fleet of moving lights: while innumerable fireworks are displayed on shore. The ceremony takes place at an early hour (7-8) on the following morning: the Khedive, one of his sons, or the Governor of Cairo presiding. Large tents are erected on the high stone banks above the dam. Thousands of Egyptians swarm to the spot. A document respecting the rise of the Nile is read; and a signal is then given to clear a way for the waters of the Nile, which rush into the dry channel. Then follow plunging and diving for a few small coins which are thrown into the turbid waters: while rockets are discharged. The dam is constructed by Kopts, Muslims, and Jews in turn. The Festival is called in Arabic "Mosim el-Khalig," or "Kata el-Khalig;" and the day is called "Yom Wifa el-Bahr'' (Day of the full flow of the River).

Companions of the Cave (Ashab el-Kahf), i.e. "the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus." The anniversary of the Festival which celebrates this myth is religiously handed down in the Calendar. The story of the 7 Christian youths who took refuge, together with their dog, in a cave, is described at at length in Ch. xviii ("the Cave") of the Kuran. Their names, together with that of their dog, are considered as potent charms, and written or engraved on trays, drinking bowls, weapons, &c. "Their names are differently given by Latin, Syriac. Greek, Ethiopic and Koptic writers'' (Malan's notes on Koptic Church Calendar).

Dates. The varieties of the date palm in Egypt are very numerous. The fellah can distinguish, roughly speaking, about 30 sorts. About 15 kinds of dates can be generally seen, during the season, by visiting the fruit market at Boulak.

Dervishes of Egypt. The Dervishes of Egypt belong chiefly to the 4 following great orders, and their numerous sub-divisions;—

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—The Ahmedieh (founded by the Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi in the 7th century of the Hegra, or 13th A.D.)
—The Kadrieh (founded by Abd el-Kadr el-Ghuani, in the 6th century of the Hegra).
—The Rufaieh (founded by the Seyyid Ahmed er-Rufai nephew of Abd el-Kadr, in the 6th century A.H.)
—The Bourhamieh (founded by the Seyyid Ibrahim ed-Dessoukl of Dessouk, Egypt).

The great sects of the Bioumieh and Saadieh (offshoots of the Ahmedieh and Rufaieh) are almost as extensive as their parent orders. Amongst the Dervish sects most largely represented in Egypt, after above-named, are the Afifleh, Marganieh. Abou Deyf, Hefnawieh, Leysieh, Bekrieh, Dimirdashieh, and Owlad Enan. The tekkiehs, or Dervish Monasteries, worthy of visits are those of the Mowlowieh; in the Helmieh: of the Nakshibendieh, in the Darb el-Gemamiz: the Bektashieh, in the Mokattam hill: the Gulshenieh and Kadrieh, near the Bab el-Mutawali: the Kadrieh, at Kasr el-Eyn: and the Kadrieh, at the Ashrafteh, near the Mosque of Nefiseh.

Dimirdash. The Sheikh ad-Dimirdash is anointed Saint of Egypt. Originally a mameluke, or bought slave, he rose to great eminence in the religious world, and numerous stories are told of his piety and miraculous powers. The Mosque containing his tomb, is to be seen at Abbassieh near Cairo. A certain number of Dervishes, including some of the Khalwetieh order, are always resident within the precincts. There is also a following of Dimirdashieh Dervishes. The word Dimirdash is a corruption of the words Timour Tash. The moulid of Dimirdash is celebrated, in the vicinity of his Mosque in the month of Shaaban.

Dimyaneh. Moulid es-Sitt Dimyaneh (Festival of the dadyn). This is a large Koptic fair and Festival held on the 12th of Bashans (19th May) at the Convent of this Koptic Saint, which stands in solitude in the waste ground N.E. of the Delta, about halfway between lake Bourlos and the right branch of the Nile. The convent can be reached by rail to Mansourah, Nile boat to Kilwah, and donkey or mule — 66 —  to the spot itself. The moulid which lasts 8 or more days, brings together a vast gathering of Kopts, and no Muslims except a few whose object is merchandize. This Convent is celebrated for the Casting out of Devils: and demoniacs are brought from far and wide at the time of festival. There is a miraculous chamber in which, during the Moulid, the Shadows of various Saints, including that of the Virgin Mary, appear to the faithful. These apparitions are in reality inverted Shadows of objects made to pass in front of a small window in the dome of the Chamber, and cast upon the opposite wall. The moulid is worthy of a visit to those interested in observing the customs of the Kopts. Numerous miraculous legends are associated with this Convent. The Koptic Bishop of Jerusalem (at present His Holiness Basileos); in whose diocese is the Convent, is generally present. A lesser moulid is held on the 12th Toubeh.

Doseh. Ed-Doseh (the Treading) is an annual ceremony that takes place, about 1 pm., on the last day of Moulid en-Nebi. The Sheikh of Saadieh dervishes (at present the Sheikh Ahmed el-Kiidari) after a long procession, rides a horse over a pathway of about 300 prostrate dervishes. The performance takes place in front of the official and chief tents, pitched at the scene of the moulid. The origin of the Doseh is to be referred to the time of the Sheikh Yunas, a saint who possessed the power of riding a horse over glass without fracturing it. This miraculous feat he was in the habit of performing annually, as did his first Khalifeh or successor. Afterwards at the Moulid of the Sheikh Yunas the custom was established of riding a horse over a living pathway of enthusiastic dervishes. The custom dates from towards the end of the last century. A doseh is performed on three other occasions during the year, viz.:— at the Moulids of "Sultan" Hanen, of the Imam esh-Shafer, and of the Sheikh Tashtoushi.

Duhr. Midday: a little after noon, when the sun has begun to decline; the hour of the fourth daily Muslim prayer.

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Eed el-Bishurah. The Koptic "Festival of the Annunciation", or Lady Day.

Eed el-Kebir. (The Great Festival), called also Eed el-Kourban, and in Turkish Kourban Bairam. The Festival commemorates the sacrifice of Ismail by Ibrahim. It begins on the 10th of Zu'l-Kaadeh, and lasts properly three, but in reality four days. On the first day every family that can afford it sacrifices a sheep. Poor families receive a sheep, or portions of one, from the rich. On this day the pilgrims to Mekkeh slay their victims. Public prayers are made in the mosques. In other respects this Eed resembles, but is celebrated with perhaps less festivity than, the "Little Festival" (Eed es-Sugheier). New clothes are worn; visits made to tombs; and amusements provided for children. The Khedive holds a reception at an early hour.

Eed el-Keblr (of the Kopts), see Eed el Kiyameh.

Eed el-Kiyameh (Koptic "Festival of the Resurrection''), also called Eed el-Kebir. Easter is the chief festival of the Kopts. Services are held in the churches on the eve of the Eed. The Festival is observed with feasting and general festivity: and is similar in general respects to the eeds of the Muslims.

Eed el-Milad. (Koptic "Festival of the Nativity"). Christmas is celebrated with the usual festivities characteristic of an Eed. New dresses are worn, and amusements provided, in public and private, for children. Prayer is made in the churches ; alms given ; and visits made on the eve to the tombs of relatives. Service is held in the churches on the eve of the Eed.

Eed el-Ghitass. (Koptic "Festival of the Baptism'' of Christ: literally "the plunging"). The Kopts visit the tombs of their relatives at the cemeteries (near Old Cairo), on the eve of the F., and many of them remain all night there, in houses built among the tombs. Sheep are often killed there and the flesh distributed. Service is held in the Cathedral and other churches on the eve of the Eed.

Eed esh-Shasnin. (Koptic "Festival of the palm branches") the Sunday next before the Eed el-Kiyameh. A curious —  68 —  custom, which probably originate, as Lane suggests, at the time of the plague, is observed at this Eed. The Burial Service is read over the congregations assembled in the Churches; and should any person die during the period intervening between this and the end of the "Khamsin" period, the prayers are not repeated at the funeral.

Eed es-Sugheier. ("the Little Festival") in Turkish "Ramazan Bairam". This F. is held on the first 3 days of Sbowwal, and celebrates the close of Ramadan: whence it is also called Eed el-Fitr. (F. of Breaking the fast). This, though called the minor, is in reality the greater of the two great Muslim Eeds, as regards outward signs of rejoicing. Prayers are performed in the Mosques. New clothes are worn. Visits are made, especially by women, to the tombs, upon which palm branches, &c., are laid. Particular dishes are prepared. Amusements of various sorts are provided, and the streets present an animated appearance. The district outside the Bab en-Nasr is one of the chief scenes of gaiety. The Khedive holds an early reception, which all officials, and many others attend. The Princesses also receive visits of numerous ladies. Visits are exchanged by friends and relations amongst all classes. The ordinary salutation between friends, who kiss each other on both cheeks, is "Koul am wa int bikheyr'' (may you be prosperous every year), or "Koul saneh int tayib",—equivalent to our "many happy returns of the day".

Eed es-Salib. (Festival of the Cross). In the Calendar of the Koptic Church this is the F. of the finding, or of the exaltation, of the Cross. "On this day we make mention of the Glorious Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ". Properly the F. last 3 days (16th-18th Tout), "beginning with the preaching in the Church of the Resurrection, and ending with the Feast of S. Porphyrius, who is connected with the finding of the Holy Cross by Helena", and to whose care it was committed.

Formerly the Kopts assembled on this day at Old Cairo opposite the Nilometer; and the Patriarch, after certain —  69 — formalities, threw into the Nile a silver cross, which expert divers endeavoured to recover. Accidents frequently resulted. After the arrival of the French the ceremony was abolished; but the custom is preserved in some Churches of throwing the Cross into a basin of water.

Salib also signifies "suspension", and as the water of the Nile, being now at its full height, is generally suspended, or stationary, during some days, this anniversary has come to have a sort of double meaning and to mark the suspension of the Nile waters when at their maximum height. A Koptic local tradition asserts that whatever be the state of the Nile on the Eed es-Salib, such will be the state for 15 succeeding days, whether there be a rise, fall, or suspension.

Eed er-Rusoul. (Koptic "Festival of the Apostles"). This Eed is observed with prayers in the churches: and the priest, as at the Eed el-Ghitass, washes or touches with holy water the feet of each member of the congregation. Generally speaking this F. resembles other Koptic eeds.

Eed es-Sooud. (Koptic "Festival of the Ascension"): one of the great Festivals of the Kopts, and observed with prayer, feasting, and alms-giving.

Eed el-Ansarah. (Koptic Festival of Whit Sunday): similar to the other principal eeds of the Kopts.

Egg. Hatching (artificial) in Egypt. The Egyptian process of hatching eggs by artificial heat in ovens has been described in most works on Egypt. 20 to 21 days are required, as in natural incubation. The average heat in the ovens is from 100 to 103 deg: Fahr. The superintendent has no thermometer, but, should he wish to try the heat, he applies one of the eggs to his eyelid. Egyptian fowls are very small, as are the eggs. Those hatched artificially will not sit on eggs. According to the "Statistique" published in 1873 there are 603 of these ovens in Egypt; in which, in that year, 1,765,000 chickens were hatched. About 5 out of 7 are generally hatched successfully. There are at present no establishments of the sort at Cairo. They maybe seen (in March, April and May) at Gizeh, —  70 — where there are 5 or 6 belonging to the Government. (For details see Lane, M. Gastinel's paper on the subject, &c.)

Esheh. Nightfall: the hour of the second daily Muslim prayer, when the red gleam that follows sunset has disappeared, and darkness sets in.

Eyoub. (Job the Prophet). Arbaa Eyoub—Job's Wednesday is the next before the Koptic Easter. "Many persons on this day wash themselves with cold water, and rub themselves with the creeping plant called raaraa Eyoub or ghabeyra ("Inula Arabica" or "Inula undalata") on account of a tradition which relates that Job did so to obtain "restoration to health". (Lane's Egyptians, ii. 222). This custom is still kept up by some persons.

Fatmeh. Es-Sitt Fatmeh en-Nebawieh, the Lady Fatmeh, daughter of the Prophet, was born at Mekkeh 6 years before the "Mission" of the Prophet. She married Ali and was the mother of Hassan and Hussein. She was regarded as the model of virtue. She died at the age of 28, at Medina. A Mosque containing a cenotaph, situated in the recesses of the "Arab" quarters of E. Cairo, is dedicated to her memory, and highly venerated. An annual moulid is held in her honour in the month of Rabia el-tani

Fegr. Daybreak: when the first faint light appears. The hour of the third daily Muslim prayer. Also called subh,

Fetteh. See Tharid.

Gaber. ''Sidi" Gaber ibn-Abdallah el Ansari, a friend of the Prophet, died about A.H. 90. He came to Egypt with Amr, and settled in the country. Many miraculous stories are related of him. His tomb is to be seen at Ramleh, near Alexandria. A large annual moulid is held in his honour, and is generally celebrated in the early summer, after the arrival of the Khedive or any members of his family who may visit Alexandria. He may be called the patron saint of Ramleh.

Gamreh. The names First, Second, and Third Gamreh are given to 3 periods, of 7 days respectively, which herald in the Spring. Mascidi alludes to them, in his account of the Syrian months, and says that they occur on the 7th, —  71 — 14th and 21st of the month Shebat. They mark the period in which periodic fogs announce the approach of the mild spring season, when the intense cold of winter ceases to be felt. They are followed by the last touch of winter cold, so prejudicial to old folks (see Bar'd el-Agous). In the Egyptian calendar these periods occur somewhat later than in the Syrian. The Egyptians say that in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Gamrehs, increasing warmth begins to be felt in air, water, and earth, respectively. Masudi says that they are called el-Gebheh, ez-Zubreh, and es-Sarfeh. The word Gamreh, thus used figuratively, literally signifies "a live coal."

Gumadi l-O'wwal, see Note ii.

Hanefi. "Sultan Hanefi" (who is not be confounded with the founder of the Hanefi sect of Muslims) is one of the celebrated saints of Cairo, whose Mosque is much visited. He died in 848. A.H. An annual moulid is held near his Mosque (1st-27th Shaaban). A doseh is performed on the last, or great, day.

Hasaneyn (lit: the two Hassans), the title given to the two sons of Ali and Fatmeh, Hussein and Hassan The great Mosque of the Hasaneyn, recently rebuilt, in which the head of Husein is believed to be buried, is generally called after him alone—"the Mosque of Our Lori Hussein" (Gameh Seyyidna Hussein).

The Moulid el-Hasaneyn, or Festival of Hassan and Hussein is celebrated during 14 days and 15 nights in the month of Rabia et-tani. It is held in the streets near the Mosque, which faces the E. extremity of the "Turkish Baazar". Numerous tents are pitched in all available spaces; and are almost entirely devoted to amusements—singing, dancing, puppet shows (the Kara-Gyuz and Khiyal ed dill), coffee drinking, &c. Dervish Zikrs do not figure, as in most of the Great Moulids. The Mosque is the rendezvous for those who are drawn to the place for religious motives. This Moulid is not one of the most interesting, but it is, or ought to be, from a religious point of view, next in importance to that of the Prophet.

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Hashish. The bruised capsules and leaves of Indian hemp (Cannabis Indica). Hashish is consumed largely in Egypt by the lower orders: being either inhaled in the gozeh or cocoa-nut pipe, or eaten, in combination with other ingredients, in conserves. It is used as an element in numerous aphrodisiacs. (See Magoun)

The effects of hashish differ considerably from those produced by opium, which acts more as a sedative. In some interesting articles by M. Charles Richet, on "les poisons de l'intelligence" the effects are described according to the experience of the writer himself (See Revue des Deux Mondes. Mars 1. 1877). The chief effects experienced under the influence of hashish would seem to be a great exaggeration of all the feelings, an extremely rapid succession of ideas, and an absence of will or of self-control, although self-consciousness is retained. The memory at the same time remains intact, and the recollection of all that is said or done is perfectly unimpaired, unless the dose is particularly strong. Notions of time and space are strangely affected. Seconds appear like years, and minutes like ages, owing to the immense number and variety of ideas that are flashed through the brain. The effects produced upon the various senses are very bizarre. Objects assume a fantastic appearance. The roughest drawings transport the beholder into regions of superb scenery. A single soldier is exaggerated into an armed host. A low staircase appears like Jacobs' ladder reaching to the heavens. Rude music is converted into enchanting strains. Some slight noise may resound like a clap of thunder or the roaring of artillery. The dropping of water may fall like a crashing cataract on the ear. A slight word of disparagement may seem an intolerable insult, and ennui become a dreadful pain. According to M. Richet, the three states of dream, madness, and intoxication by hashish are so analogous that no essential difference can by established between them.

The growth of hashish was, a few years ago, prohibited in Egypt, and its sale discountenanced. The restrictions —  73 — against its sale are now removed, only a moderate tax being imposed; and it is sold quite openly. There are various qualities of the prepared drug. It is to be obtained at some of the chief Arab cafés and at special resorts, where it is smoked in public, a pipe containing it being handed round. The shops in which the numerous electuaries, or conserves, above alluded to, are sold are called "Mashashehs." They maybe seen in every street. The chief depot is near the entrance to the Mosque of Sultan Kalaoun, near the Turkish Bazaar. A man who indulges in hashish is called a "hashash" (pl. hashashin). Statistics respecting insanity in Egypt show that a large proportion of cases is due to the widespread abuse of this drug.

Hassan. Son of Ali and Fatmeh. (See Hassaneyn).

Hatour. (The ancient Athyr), 3rd Koptic month. The Egyptians begin to wear woollen clothes on the 17th of this month. The foundations of houses, &c., are laid. (El-Makrizi) Hatour 12th, Feast of the Great Angel Michail the Arch-Angel, (Church Calendar).

Henna. The powder formed from the leaves of the Egyptian privet (Lawsonia inermis), which is grown abundantly in Egypt, and the Nile valley, and is chiefly used by the fair sex for dyeing the nails of the hands and feet, and also the palms. It is formed into a paste, by mixing it with water, and then brought into contact with the parts to be stained: the hands or feet being bound up, and thus remaining all night. The red tint remains for 10 days or more. In Egyptian weddings the night following the bride's "Procession of the Bath" is called Leylet el Henna (the "Night of Henna") the bride being then decorated with the tints of the "flower of Paradise." The Persians dye their boards with henna, and old grey-headed women their hair. The flower of the plant, which has a very pleasing fragrance, is much esteemed, and is said to have been the special favourite of the Prophet.

Hosoum. This is one of those terms of which the following explanation must be considered open to doubt. As far as we can discover, it is the name of the evil wind that — 74 — was sent to destroy the Adites, or people of Ad, in the time of the Prophet Hud. This Hud (supposed to be Heber) was sent to preach repentance to the idolatrous Adites; who refused to listen to his warning. They were therefore destroyed. "And when they saw the preparation made for their punishment, namely a cloud traversing the sky, and tending towards their valleys," they said "This is a traversing cloud which bringeth us rain." Hud answered "Nay: it is what ye demanded to be hastened,—a wind wherein is a severe vengeance: it will destroy everything at the command of its Lord." And in the morning nothing was to be seen besides their empty dwellings. Thus do we reward wicked people. (Kuran. Ch. xlvi, also Ch. xxiii). This hossoum is supposed still to retain its inauspicious and blighting qualities. Children born during the week in which it is said to blow are believed to be endowed with bad qualities, as those born under an unlucky star, and seed or rising crops are believed to suffer from the withering blast. The hossoum is always coupled in the calendars with the Bar'd el-Agouz, Sale describes the hossoum of the Kuran as "a hot and suffocating wind which blew 7 nights and 8 days together, and entering at their nostrils passed through their bodies" (see Sale's Kuran. Prelim. Disc. p. 4).

Howling Dervishes (see Kadrieh). At Constantinople (Scutari) the tekkieh of "Howling" Dervishes mostly visited by travellers is that of the Rufaieh order.

Hussein. Son of Ali and Fatmeh, killed on the plain of Kerbel. (See Hassaneyn, and Ashoura).

Ibrahim el-Dessouki. The Seyyid Ibrahim of Dessouk (a town in the Delta) is a celebrated Saint, and the founder of the order of Bourhamieh (i.e. Ibrahimieh) Dervishes. He died in 676. A.H. and was buried at Dessouk. Moulids are held in his honour three times in the year, immediately after the three Moulids of Ahmed el-Bedawi at Tanta. These fairs are attended by vast numbers of persons; and what is said of the Tanta-Fair may be considered to apply also, on a somewhat smaller scale, to that of Desssuk. These great fairs are worth visiting.

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Imam el-Leyes (properly el-Leyth). The Imam el-Leyth,—called Abou el-Haris el-Leyth, son of Saad, son of Abd er-Rahman,—Imam of the inhabitants of Egypt in the religious law of Islam and the Traditions, was originally from Ispahan; a man of upright and Arm character; rich and generous. He received instruction from Mohammed, son of Shiliab ez-Zuhri. His annual income was 5000 dinars; the whole of which he distributed to the poor. He was born at Kalkashanda in the province of Kelioub (Egypt), in the year 94 A.H. He died on Friday, 15th Shaaban, 175. A.H. and was buried the same day in a small cemetery at Cairo. His tomb is one that is much visited. It is situated a little to the S. of that of the Imam esh-Shafei.

Imam esh-Shafei. Abou Abdalhih Mohammed ibn-Idris, was surnamed Shafei from the name of one of his ancestors, who was descended from Moutaleb the Koreyshite, great grand-father of the Prophet. Hence he was also called el-Imam el-Moutt Mebi, and 'Arif Billah. He was born at Ghazza in Palestine in 150 A.H. (767. A.D.). He spent some time at Baghdad and Mekkeh, and on returning from the latter place to Egypt, he studied under the Imam Malik ibn Ans, Esh-Shafel is the founder of the Shafei, one of the four Orthodox Sunni Muslim Sects. He was the first to compose a work on Muslim Jurisprudence. He also wrote the Elm el-Ouisoul, or Foundations of Islam, comprising civil and canonic law: and other treatises. He died at the age of 54 in 204 A.H., at Cairo. His tomb, overshadowed by a large and conspicuous dome, a little to the S. of the "Tombs of the Mamelukes", is much visited. Most of the Egyptians belong to the Shafei sect.

An annual moulid is celebrated in the month of Shaaban, in honour of the Imam. Tents are pitched in the vicinity of the tomb, and large numbers of people flock to the spot. A doseh is generally performed, but the Moulid is not a remarkable one.

Imsak (lit: the Keeping; i.e. restraining). The hour at which the daily fasting of Muslims during Ramadan begins: viz.:—always 20 minutes before the fegr (daybreak).

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Imsakieh. A special diary for the month of Ramadan, which gives the hours to be observed by prayer and fasting. A portion of one is reproduced on another page

Kadrieh Dervishes. The followers of Abd el-Kadr el-Ghilani: one of the most important and widespread of Dervish orders. In Egypt they are extremely numerous. There are several tehkiehs of the order at Cairo. That chiefly visited is the tehkieh of Eyoub at Kasr el Eyn, where the zikr of "Howlers" is performed every Friday (except during Ramadan) at 2 pm.

Khalig (see Canal).

Khamis el-Ahd. Maunday Thursday of the Kopts. During service in the Churches, a priest after blessing water, "washes" or touches the feet of each member of the congregation.

Khamsin. El-Khamsin is literally "the fifty". The name may be derived from the period of 49 days intervening between the Koptic Easter and Pentecost: this being the season during which the hot S. winds chiefly blow. Or it may be derived from the Syrian Calendar in which each of the four seasons is divided into two periods, of 40 and 50 days respectively. Thus the Syrian Calendar speaks of "the winter Khamsin"; and so on. Khamsin is therefore the name of the windy season, not of the wind itself, which in Arabic is called "Shar'd". This disagreeable wind renders the month of May, and parts of April and June, the most unhealthy and changeable season of the year in Cairo. The air is hot, dry, and fully charged with fine particles of sand and dust. The immediate effect is not weakening or depressing, but to most persons, on the contrary, somewhat stimulating; but when the winds blow, as they often, do, for three, five, or more days and nights successively, more or less lassitude is, of course, produced. Those who pass through the Khamsin period without suffering will find the months that follow far less trying. The Arabs have a legend which refers the origin of the Khamsin wind to a period of 50 days, during which Cain carried on his shoulders the wasting body of his murdered brother Abel.

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Kyhak (the ancient Khoiak), 4th Koptic month. The planting of wheat, barley, clover, &c., ends, in lands that have been ploughed after the retreat of the waters. Sugar cane is pressed end molasses are made. The N. wind diminishes, and the S. becomes more prevalent. (El-Makrizi).

Kyhak 3rd,—Entrance of our Lady Virgin, Holy Mary, Mother of God, into the Temple at Jerusalem. 22nd, Commemoration of the illustrious Angel, the Arch-angel, Gabriel the harbinger. 29th, On this day also do we keep the feast of the glorious birth of Our Lord Jesus-Christ.

Kisweh. (Procession of the). The Kisweh is the Robe or Covering of the Kaabeh at Mekkeh. It is manufactured annually, nominally at the Sultan's expense, in Egypt, and conveyed in pieces with pomp from the Citadel to the Mosque of the Hasaneyn, there to he sewn together. This Procession is not to be confused with that of the Mahmal which takes place generally about 14 days later. The Kisweh again figures in the latter ceremony. (See Lane). The old Kisweh is cut up annually and portions of it are greatly prized by pilgrims.

Kohl. A collyrium used for decorating the eyelids and eyebrows, and composed of the smoke-black produced by burning various resins. Some kinds of kohl are used merely for decorating the eyes: others for medicinal purposes, (see Lane's Egypt: i. 45.)

Labgeh. The milky sap of the date palm drawn off for drinking in the early summer, especially in June. The tree is tapped with an iron instrument which is driven in at a particular point near the head of the tree by persons skilled in performing the operation. Otherwise the palm would be killed. At Cairo there seem to be no persons who tap, or sell the juice: but at Alexandria the labgeh is drunk by many of the natives, on account of its medicinal and cooling properties. If simply fermented, it forms a kind of date-palm beer.

Lawakkh. A gusty wind: said to be chiefly prevalent in Amshir; sometimes accompanied by rain.

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Leyal el-Bulk. There are two periods of 40 days each which go by the name of the Leyal el-Bulk. and which immediately precede and follow the Leyal es-Soud (Black Nights) of winter. What these periods signify, however, we have not been able to discover, (Bulk signifies "of two colours: especially black and white.'') Some think that they formerly marked certain seasons proper for certain agricultural operations: others that they refer to certain hygienic considerations now lost sight of. The use of the term, whatever the explanation may be, seems to be now confined to the makers of calendars.

Leyal es-Soud. (The Black Nights). What these dark nights signify it is difficult to ascertain. They occur in the depth of winter (11th Kyhak to 20th Toubeh). According to certain explanations they represent certain superstitions of which the origin is buried in obscurity. Stories are told of black phantom ships, that are to be seen at sea during these nights, always carrying a cargo of some black merchandise (e.g. Habheh soda,—fennel seeds, black slaves, &c.) and bound to and from some port which—like the Black Sea—begins with the word Black.

In the Turkish calendar also there are certain nights in the winter called "Karakongoloz", or "Kara-kish" (Black Winter), with which similar superstitions are connected. The Ginn, (especially in certain villages in Roumelia) are said to be particularly active during this period, kidnapping children, and otherwise misbehaving themselves. Most of the stories associated with these black nights are too childish to be worthy of mention. It would be more satisfactory, could we find sufficient proof, to connect these nights, as M. Tissot suggests, with the mythology or religion of ancient Egypt. It would seem that according to some almanacs they are only 3 or 7 in number. M. Tissot reminds us of the 3 days in the month of Athyr dedicated to the mourning for Isis,—as described by Plutarch—when winter stripped the Goddess of her robe of leaves, as it now does in the mouth of Hathor. That these nights of gloom have their origin in some very — 79 — ancient custom is extremely probable; but we might rather suggest some connection with the 7 days of mourning, at the end of Koiak, for the burial of Osiris: the "fetes des tenebres" mentioned by Brugsch, commemorating the "sept jours qu'il a passe dans le ventre de sa mere Nût." The mention and observance of these dismal nights seem, as in the case of the Leyal el-Bulk, to have passed quite out of general use, so that we are left in the region of conjecture as to their true interpretation.

Leylet Ashoura. (See Ashoura).

Leylet el-Ghitass. (Night of the Plunging)—the Eve of the Eed el-Ghitass, or Anniversary of the Baptism of Christ. It is the custom of the Kopts, men and boys, to plunge into water, and repeat a certain formula, (see Lane) Many bathe in the river: some in the reservoirs of churches.

Prayers are made in the churches and the priest performs the ceremony of washing the feet of the whole congregation. Formerly this was a great Festival among the Kopts, the Nile being covered with boats, and its banks with tents.

Leylet el-Kadr. (The Night of Power). On this night the Kuran is believed to have been sent down from heaven to the Prophet. There is uncertainty as to the night, which tradition says was either that of the 21st, 25th, 27th or 29th of Ramadan; but it is generally, and always in Egypt, observed on the 27th. A visit should be paid on this night to the Mosque of Mohammed Ali, in the Citadel; where an interesting spectacle is to be witnessed. No order is required for Europeans. Zikrs of Mowlowieh, Kadrieh, Rufaieh, Saadieh, and other dervishes are held in various parts of the Mosque, which is brilliantly illuminated. The minarets of all the Mosques of the city glitter with lights. This night is also called Leylet el-Mubarek. (The Blessed Night). "It is better than a thousand nights". Read chapter xcvii of the Kuran.

Leylet el-Miarig. The Night of the Prophet's miraculous visit to the heavens: solemnly celebrated in Egypt, as — 80 — in other countries of Islam. The Mosques are illuminated, and prayers made. Admission should be obtained, if possible, to the precincts of the Khedive's Palace in which the chief ceremonies now peculiar to the night are observed. Spacious tents are pitched in some large open court, and the chief personages of Cairo are present. The ground is richly carpeted, and zikrs of Mowlowieh and other dervish orders are performed. Of late years an extraordinary exhibition of fire-eating Moghrebi dervishes has been included in the programme. At a late hour of the night takes place the reciting of the narrative of the Night Journey of Mohammed, by one of the chief Ulama of Cairo. In 1877 it was read at Abdin by the Sheikh Ali Nail.

A Festival held at the Mosque of Tashtoushi coincides with this great night, and the 3 previous to it.

Leylet en-Nuktah. (The Night of the Drop), the eve of the 11th of Baouneh. (17th June). On this night a miraculous drop is supposed to fall (at a moment exactly calculated by astrologers) upon the waters of the Nile. Ancient Egyptian mythology, according to Pausanias, taught that it was the tears of Isis falling upon the bosom of the river that caused it to rise. Many persons spend this night on the banks of the Nile, and it used to be the custom to examine on this night a clod of Nile mud, and to infer from its weight and appearance the character and amount of the Nile's rising: but this practice is now little observed. The moulid of the Sheikh Embabeh at the village of that name, opposite Cairo, has-been fixed to take place on this night; and as large numbers of Cairenes cross the river to attend it, there are many who now connect the old festival with the modern moulid.

Leylet en-Nusf min Shaaban. (Night of the Half of Shaaban). This night, the eve of 15th of Shaaban, is held in great reverence: and special prayers are ordained for use. On this night the Lotus Tree of Paradise, on the leaves of which are inscribed the names of all living persons, — 81 — is shaken; and the leaf of any one who is destined to die during the ensuing year falls withering to the ground. It is interesting to pay a visit to the Mosque of the Hasaneyn soon after sunset, and to see the host of turbaned heads, as the prayer is made. Most of the minarets of Cairo are lit up on this night. "The moon at the same time lending her brilliance, the earth and the heaven are resplendent with light'' (Ibn Batoutah).

Leylet er-Ragheieb,—the Night of Desires. This name is given to the eve of the 7th of Regeb. It is observed with solemnity by many Muslims, and it is believed that prayers are specially efficacious on this night. It is said to be the night of the miraculous conception of the Prophet.

Leylet er-Rouyeh (the Night of Observation). This is the eve of Ramadan, to fix the beginning of which persons are appointed to observe the new moon and then to give their evidence at the Court of the Kadi. It is customary there to go through the form of a trial instituted for the occasion. A man for instance sues another for a debt due on the 1st of Ramadan, and evidence is given by two witnesses that the new moon of Ramadan has been seen by them, thus proving that the money is due. Processions, in which all the guilds, or trades, of Cairo are represented, take place on this night. When the beginning of the Fast has been fixed, proclamations are made in all the quarters of Cairo, and other towns. (See Lane's description. Mod. Eg. Ch. XXV).

Leylet er-Rurafeh (vulgo Rafraf). The eve of the 2nd of Ramadan; a sort of popular fete night, observed in some families, by feasting, amusements for children, &c.

Leylet es-Saratin (Night of the Crab). The night of the 15th of Baouneh, or, properly, the time at which the Sun enters the sign of Cancer. On this night charms are obtained to drive away bugs, and fixed upon the walls of rooms, there to remain until the next Leylet es-Saratin.

Here is a specimen of one of these charms, written a year or two ago:—

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Atatash.

Atatash.

Atatash.

 

Iblygma
blygma
lygma
ygma
gma
ma

 

The bugs came.

The bugs went.

The bugs died.

 

The talismanic letters in the centre seem to represent the bugs becoming beautifully less. Other such charms bear the names of various unknown Sultans: and other absurd names and words are introduced. Lane describes the ordinary charm as being these words from Sourah ii. of Kuran. "Hast thou considered those who left their habitations, and they were thousands, for fear of death? And God said unto them—'Die: die: die,'" The letters of all these words are written separately.

In Constantinople fleas are banished on a certain day,—the 21st of March (Gregorian). A broken piece of pottery is thrown out of the window with the exclamation.—"Spring come in: and fleas go out!"

Leysieh Dervishes. A certain number of dervishes in Cairo are called after the name of the Imam el-Leys (Leyth). They perform zikrs in various Mosques, especially in the S. of Cairo.

Mahmal (Procession of the). This is an annual ceremony that takes place generally on the 23rd of Showwal, three days before the actual start from Cairo of the pilgrim caravan for Mekkeh. The Mahmal itself is a square wooden frame with pyramidal top, covered with a richly ornamented, red cloth, embroidered with gold. It represents the taktarawan (or hodag, i.e. covered litter), of Shegeret ed-Dor, wife of El-Melek es Saleh Negm ed-din, and herself Queen of Egypt in 648 A.H. (1250 A.D.). She performed the pil- — 83 — grimage to Mekkeh; and the fashion of carrying an empty litter, as an emblem of royalty, in pompous procession, was ever afterwards kept up. Occasionally (as, for example, in compliance with the objections of the Wahabis) the custom has been abandoned for a time; but again returned to. A long description of this procession, in which numerous guilds, or fraternities of Egyptian dervishes take part, and also of the Return of the Mahmal to Cairo, is to be found in Lane's "Egyptians".

Matarieh. A village about 6 miles N. of Cairo, situated near the ruins of Heliopolis. Formerly it was celebrated for the growth of the Balsam trees, from which a costly balm was produced. The sycamore under which the Virgin Mary is said to have rested, is carefully preserved in a garden near the village. In former times there existed a small chapel, and a spring dedicated to the Virgin, which was believed to be possessed of miraculous virtues, and was much visited and venerated by Kopts, and also by Muslims.

Mayidour. Arbaa Mayidour. (Wednesday that does not return) is the name given to the last Wednesday in the month of Safar. It is believed to be particularly inauspicious. Some persons avoid going out of their houses on this day. In Syria it is called "Akher Arbaa es-Safar" (the last W. of Safar), and is looked upon with similar dread. Offices are closed. Mas'udi speaks of the bad name which Wednesday had acquired in pre-Islamitic times.

Megrib. Sunset, or a few minutes later: the hour of the first daily Muslim prayer.

Miareg (see Leylet el Miareg).

Milaneh. Chickpeas. The Egyptians say that fleas come in with the milaneh: and as a matter of fact they do abound at this particular period of the year. Chickpeas are ripe in March and April, and are much eaten, both fresh, and in the prepared state in which they are called "hommus".

Mirisi Wind. The generic name given to all winds from the South, whether hot or cold.

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Misreh (the ancient Mesore) the 12th Koptic month. The average increase of the Nile is 10 diraa. The saying is that if the Nile does not rise sufficiently in one Misreh, one must expect to wait for the Misreh following. The Nile water now fills the Alexandria canal, which becomes navigable: and by which boats now convey corn, spices, sugar, and other articles of commerce. Bisr dates are abundant; the zekaa (alms) is given in kind by those possessing date palms. The Kopts now make wine (kaamr), and vinegar, from grapes. Bananas are ripe and better now than at any other time. Tifahi lemons and pomegranates ripen, (El Makrizi).

Misreh 7th, On this day did God send the Angel Gabriel, who brought tidings to Joachim concerning Our Lady. 12th, Feast of the good and pious king Constantine. 13th, Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus-Christ on Mount Thabor. 16th, The body of Our Lady was taken up to heaven (Assumption). 20th, Rest in the Lord of the Seven Youths of Ephesus. (Church Calendar).

Moharrem. (The Forbidden), 1st Mohammedan month: called "Moharrem el haram" (M. the Sacred). As the etymology signifies this was one of the 4 months of truce, in which all acts of hostility were strictly forbidden amongst all the Arab tribes. It is considered unlucky to make a marriage contract in Moharrem.

Molokhieh, (Corchorus ohtorius). The vegetable is much esteemed and forms a good dish from the Turkish or Arab cuisine: being often made into a kind of thick soup. Pliny mentions it as having been "eaten at Alexandria''.

Moulid. (lit. Birth), This name is given, generally, to the Festivals held in honour of Prophets, Saints, Welis, Sheiks, &c., and has also come to be used as equivalent to our word Fair. A Moulid generally lasts 8 days. Most of the important Festivals of Cairo and Lower Egypt are noticed is this Calendar. For a short notice of the more important ones we must refer to the names of the Saints and others in whose honour they are held. Business, pleasure, —  85 — and religious duty (which prompts pilgrimage to the tombs of the great Saints of Islam ) are the motives which bring together such vast crowds on these occasions. All the Moulids held in the different quarters of Cairo, as throughout Egypt were formerly important fairs or markets: certain of them being celebrated for special classes of merchandize, so that persons counted upon their annual occurrence at fixed times, for supplying themselves with various articles of commerce. The establishment of numerous bazaars in towns, and the increase of communication by road and rail, are proportionately changing the character of these Festivals, as regards their commercial aspect. Many of the great national Moulids, such as the Tanta Fair, are evidently ancient Egyptian festivals Mohammedanized, as regards the religious element.

Moulid el-Embebah. This annual Muslim festival is held in the village of Embebeh, where the Saint of that name lies buried, on the W. bank of the Nile, opposite Caire. (See Leylet en Nuktah).

Moulid en-Nebi. (Festival of the Prophet). This is of course, from a religious point of view, the greatest of all moulids. The present scene of the festival is a piece of ground between the Esbekieh and Boulak. A large number of handsomely decorated tents are here arranged, and are chiefly occupied by the various orders and sects of dervishes who are noted for their public zikrs, with the exception of the Mowlowieh. The festival begins on the 4th of Rabia el-Owwal; the great day being the 11th (on which the Doseh is performed) together with the night of the 12th. The last few, and especially the last two, nights are particularly interesting, and should by all means be chosen for a visit. Brilliant displays of fireworks are made, at the expense of the Government, on these occasions. The description of the moulid in Lane's Egyptians is as accurate for our time as it was 40 years ago.

Moulid es-Saleh. An annual festival is held in honour of the Sultan es-Saleh Eyoub in the Street of the Nahassin — 86 — (Coppersmiths), near the Turkish Bazaar. Here is to be seen the dilapidated Mosque of es-Saleh who ruled Egypt 637-647 A.H. (1240-1249. A.D.), and who was considered to be a distinguished Saint, or weli, of his time. The great day of the moulid is generally about the 21st of Rabia et-tani,—the month of the Festival.

Mowlowieh Dervishes. The Turkish order of the Mowlowieh, commonly known as the "Whirlers", has one tekkieh at Cairo, situate in the Helmieh. Their zikr, so often described, takes place (about 2 pm.) every Friday of the year, except during Ramadan. Their present Sheikh is Azim Effendi.

The head-quarters of the Mowlowieh is at Broussa, in Asia Minor; and the Sheikh of the Order belongs to a family of the name of Chelebi, in which the spiritual headship is hereditary. Should the family of the Sultan be come extinct, it is from this family of the Chelebi that a new dynasty should be chosen.

Munshid. A singer of odes, &c. Munshids figure on most occasions when dervish zikrs are performed, and their chanting is much applauded by the listeners, including the zikirs themselves, who are stimulated to fresh exertions. Most of the odes of munshids are love songs in which the name of the Prophet is frequently introduced,

Magoun. The generic term for the various electuaries, or aphrodisiacs, that are so much used by the lower classes of Egyptians in the large towns. Hashish, it would seem, forms the base of the greater number of them. They are very numerous and are flavoured with all kinds of sweet preserves of roses, fruits, &c. The elaborate composition of a magoun, as used in India, is given in Herklot's Qanoon i Islam, A man who indulges in magoun is called magoungi,

Nasi. lit: the name given to the 5, and, in bissextile years, 6 days that complete the Coptic Calendar.

Nefiseh,—the great-granddaughter of Hussein, son of Ali and Fatmeh. A Mosque dedicated to her and containing her supposed tomb, is situated in the S. extremity of —  87 — Cairo, in the direction of the "Tombs of the Mamelouks". It is worthy of a visit. A picturesque gateway and paved passage lead to the entrance of the Mosque, which is one of those held in the highest honour, and much visited by men and women alike.

The Moulid of the Sitt Nefiseh takes place in the month of Gumad et-tani, and lasts nominally 27 days: the great day being on a Tuesday, and generally about the 29th of the month. This moulid, though celebrated on a smaller scale than some others in Cairo, is interesting in many respects. Zikrs are performed at night in the Mosque, the best munshids of Cairo being engaged to sing. The usual festivities take place in the vicinity of the Mosque, where tents for dancing and singing women, &c., are pitched.

Nights of Gloom (see Leyal es-Soud).

Noroz, (New year). This term is now used generally for New Year's Day, as in the Koptic Calendar. But it is properly only applied to the Noroz es-Sultani, or time of the Vernal Equinox, as adopted from the Persian Calendar. This Royal or Imperial New Years' Day is said to have been instituted by Djemshid, a King of the Persian dynasty of Pichdalian. Formerly it was celebrated at the Autumnal Equinox, according to the Calendar of Yezdidjird; but, upon the reform of Calendar by Jelal ed-din Melek Shah in 472 A.H. (1078 A.D.) the Festival was fixed at the spring, or true astronomical Equinox, at the moment when the "Sun enters the Ram". (Univers Pittoresque La Turquie) .

Nuktah (see Leylet en-Nuktah).

Nusf min Shaaban (see Leylet en-N.).

Opium (afioun). The opium of Egypt, especially that grown in the upper country, was formerly held in great repute; and considered superior to that of Asia Minor. A great stimulus was given to opium culture by Mohammed Ali Pasha, but it has had no permanent effect: the quantity now grown being insignificant. Opium is considerably used in the large towns of Egypt, in the preparations alluded to under the words hashish and magoun. The seda- — 88 — tive and anodyne effects produced by opium differ entirely from the exciting sensations induced by hashish.

Prayer, For hours of Muslim prayer, see the Table. (P. 47)

Rabia. For the months Rabia el Owwal, and R. et-tani, the 3rd and 4th Arab months, see Note ii.

Ramadan, (see Note ii.), the 9th Muslim month, and Fast of 33 days. It is interesting to stroll at night in the streets during Ramadan, and amongst the cafés where the romances of Abou Zeyd, Antar, &c., are being recited. Those who desire to hear some of the best munshids of Cairo should visit in the evening the court yard of the house of the Sheikh el-Bekri, or of the Sheikh el-Arouseh, in which zikrs are performed every night, and which they will be welcome to enter. On the 13th, 14th, and 27th, visits should be made to the Mosque of Mohammed Ali in the Citadel, between 8 and 10 pm. Men and women alike are enjoined to observe the fast of Ramadan: all, in fact, who are of sufficient age and strength to be able to support it.

Regeb. The 7th Mohammedan month; on many accounts specially sacred, as will be seen by the events that occur in it. See also, Note ii.

Rifrefeh (see Leylet er-Rifrefeh).

Rokieh. The Sitt Rokieh died in Egypt about A.H. 20, and was buried at Cairo. Her tomb may be seen in the S. of Cairo, shortly before you reach the Mosque of the Sitt Nefiseh. A little fraternity of Kadrieh dervishes is settled at the spot, and in their retreat a zikr may be witnessed on the evening of Friday (our Thursday).

Roses. The "Feast of the Roses" no doubt celebrated, in former times, with rejoicings, the gathering of the rose crops, so extensively grown in Egypt. The Fayoum was especially celebrated for the roses it produced.

Ruiai. (Rufai'eh Dervishes). The Seyyid Ahmed er-Rufai, nephew of Abd-el-Kalr el Ghilani, one of the great Saints of Islam, and founder of the widespread order of Dervishes that bears his name, is said to have died in the woods between Baghdad and Basra, in 578 A.H. (1182 A.D,). — 89 — A huge Mosque, dedicated to Rufai, is at present in course of construction, at Cairo, in audacious proximity to that of Sultan Hassan. It marks the site of a pre-existing cenotaph of the Seyyid.

The Rufaieh dervishes are extremely numerous in Egypt, both .in town and country. Strange to say, there is no Tekkieh of the order, at present, at Cairo. This is par excellence the great fire-eating sect which has gained for itself a special reputation for sword jugglery and "miracles" of a like nature.

The great Moulid er-Rufai is held in the month of Gumad et-tani: the grand day being always Thursday,—generally about the middle of the month (in 1877 it was on the 17th). The spectacles presented during this moulid should by all means be witnessed. The great procession takes place at midday on the Thursday above mentioned; and passes through the streets of Cairo, past the Mosque of Rufai, through the Bab el-Karafeh, into the desert tract between the citadel and the tomb of the Iman esh-Shafei, which is the scene of the moulid. Here are pitched the endless tents of the Rufaieh, and of various other dervish sects that take part in the Festival. The Rufai dervishes muster in full force from all parts of Egypt; strange, wild-looking beings seem to emerge from lurking places and to fill the Arab quarters of Cairo. Those who have any desire to see the eating of snakes, glass, and live coals may do so to their hearts content during the great procession. The sword tricks are in reality of a very clumsy description. Hundreds of men, boys, and even small infants, that take part in the procession, have their cheeks, arms, or breasts pierced with skewers, at the extremities of which are fixed limes, dates, &c. Innumerable banners are borne along: and there is much noise, and much beating of dervish drums. The procession ends at the scene of the moulid, where various ordeals are passed through by men and boys in groups, who lie prostrate upon the ground, with swords placed across their breasts, necks, or mouths, while the Sheikh of the section to which they belong is — 90 — lifted up and proceeds to pass over them, pressing the swords with his feet. This is a doseh of a peculiar kind, and not to be witnessed at any other moulid. The .scene at night resembles that presented at the other great moulids at Cairo: the chief feature consisting of endless zikrs in illuminated tents.

Saadieh Dervishes.—The followers of Saad ed-din el-Jebbawi, who died at Jebba, near Damascus, A.H. 736 (1335 A.D.). The order of the Saadieh is extensively represented in Egypt, and holds a conspicuous position at Cairo. It is the snake-charming sect par excellence, but their pretensions have been sufficiently exposed of late years. The Saadieh are an offshoot of the Rufaieh. The Sheikh of this order is an important personage. It is he who rides the horse over prostrate dervishes in the Doseh, at the Moulid en-Nebi. As to the origin of the snake eating propensity to which the Saadieh (and Rufaieh) are addicted, it is perhaps to be explained by tracing it to a tradition which asserts that Saad ed-din, when once threatened with starvation in the desert, succeeded in catching a serpent, with which he satisfied his hunger. The zikr of the Saadieh consists' generally in nothing more than common forms of the jumping and wriggling movement, accompanied by the usual ejaculations of faith. The Saadieh always figure on the occasions which bring together the great dervish associations. Their spiritual leader (at present the Sheikh Ahmed el-Kudari) preaches at the Hassaneyn mosque on certain occasions, as well as being prominent in the great annual festivals.

Sabt en-Nour. (Saturday of the Light). This is the Saturday next before the Koptic Easter (Eed el-Kiyameh). A light, believed to be miraculous, appears in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, at Jerusalem. In Egypt it is the fashion to decorate the eyes with kohl on this day, not for ornament, but as a preservative against ophthalmia, &c.

Safar. The 2nd Mohammedan month, so called because the Arabs used to procure their supplies of provisions, at this season, from the markets and places in which they were —  91 — sold: this month having been originally in the winter, when provisions began to be scarce. The fairs in Yemen used to be called Safarieh. (see Masudi, and Lane's Arabic Dict.). This month is sometimes called Safar el-Muzaffar (the Auspicious Safar): and also "Nezlet el-Hagg'' (the Descent or Alighting of the Pilgrims) because the pilgrims begin to return towards the end of Safar.

Sekineh. Daughter of Hussein, son of Ali and Fatmeh. A Mosque, plain and uninteresting, dedicated to the Sitt Sekineh, is to be seen in the street which leads from the Selibeh to the Mosque of Seyyideh Nefiseh. A moulid is held in the month of Gumad el-Owwal, and though it is less imposing, in its outward aspects, than the festivals of many other saints the sanctity of a spot dedicated to one so closely related to the Prophet, (and sand to protect her bones), attracts vast numbers of the faithful.

Seven Sleepers (see Companions of the Cave).

Shaaban. The 8th Mohammedan month: probably so called because the Arabs were wont, after the peace of Regeb, to separate (Shaab) on marauding and plundering expeditions, and also to seek water,—this month originally falling in the great heat of June and July, (see Lane's Dict., and Mashi, ch. lix).

Shafei. (See Imam esh-Shafei).

Shem en-Nesim. (Smelling the Zephyr). This is the name given to Easter Monday of the Koptic Church. It is the first day of the "Khamsin'' period, according to the Calendars. It is the custom of the Egyptians on this anniversary to take a holiday and to "smell the breeze" in the country. Any gardens, or fresh, open spots within convenient distance are frequented: and the Esbekieh garden now affords a pleasant rus in urbe for many. Many families arrange a picnic, taking their dinner into the fields, or gardens. The streets are filled with groups of women and children, going and coming, on foot or mounted on donkeys, with their attendants,—and carrying nosegays of flowers. Early in the morning it is the custom of women to take an onion and bruise it; and then to hang it on the door — 92 — or wall of the house. Sometimes a wife wakes her husband in the morning by bringing the onion and using "it as a charm to drive away the heaviness of the Giaour". The origin of the custom seems to be lost in antiquity. The coarsely salted Nile fish, called fasihk,—the very sight and smell of which is almost enough to poison a European, is much eaten on this day.

Shem en-Nesim el Ulama. The Ulama, or learned class, have a private Shem en-Nesim of their own. It is the first, (and two following) days of the Spring Quarter, and corresponds with the "Noroz es-Sultani", or Persian Spring Festival of the New-Year. The wise men of Egypt are supposed to inhale the zephyr at a very early hour on this occasion, and to return from their more solemn promenade about sunrise.

Showwal. The 10th Mohammedan month, so called by the Arabs because this month marked the breeding season of their camels (from Showalcaudas levare). In former times marriages were not allowed amongst the Arabs in this month; but Mohammed abolished the prohibition, and married Aysha in this month.

Simoum. This is the most abominable wind that visits Egypt: but it is not frequent, and it is generally of not more than 15 or 20 minutes duration. Its approach is generally preceded by a calm, during which the whole sky assumes a dull, coppery colour, that gradually obscures the Sun. Then follows a hurricane of blinding dust and fine sand, unpleasant in the extreme for those who happen to be exposed to it.

Sirius. The Dog Star (esh-Shary). Two stars are called by this name in Arabic, viz.:—Esh-Shary el-Yemanieh (the S. or true Dog Star ) and Esh-Shary esh-Shamieh (the N. or "Syrian"). The former was worshipped by some Arab tribes before the time of Mohammed: hence the passages in the Kuran that allude to it, and preach the worship of the true God in its place. The two stars are called the two sisters of Suheyl (Canopus).

Som el-Adra. (Fast of the Virgin): a Koptic fast of 15 days, preceding the Assumption of the Virgin.

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Som el-Milad. (Fast of the Nativity): a Koptic fast of 28 clays, beginning on the 1st of Kyhak, and ending the day before Christmas.

Som el-Kebir. (The Great Fast): the Koptic Lent. This was formerly a fast of 40 days, but it has been extended by different Patriarchs to 55 days.

Som er-Rusoul. (Fast of the Apostles): a fast of the Kopts, extending from the Eed es Sooud (Festival of the Ascension) to the 5th of Abib. It commemorates the fasting of Apostles after the Ascension of Christ.

Som Yunan. (Fast of Jonas): A Koptic Fast of 3 days beginning a week before the Som el Kebir. It commemorated the fasting at Nineveh, that followed the preaching of Jonah (en-Nebi Yunas).

Som el-Ghitass, (Fast of the Baptism) the Koptic fast of Epiphany: also commonly called Baramolin, It immediately precedes the Eed el-Ghitass, and is of one, two, or three days duration.

Sultan. This title is sometimes bestowed upon saints, and welis of distinguished sanctity: e.g. "Sultan" Hanefi.

Sun. The expressions "Descent of the Little Sun", and "Descent of the Big Sun", are used of the periods in which the sun enters the signs of Pisces and Aries. This calls to mind what Macrobius says of the ancient Egyptians, who compared the course of the Sun to the four stages of a man's life (Saturnal: i. xviii). The Sun in winter was, he says, represented under the form of a young child: at the spring equinox, as a young man; at the autumn solstice, as a bearded, full grown man: and from that point as an aged man.

Tadrus. Saint Theodore (Mar Tadrus), commonly called el-Emir Tadrus. A convent dedicated to this Saint is situated in the Hart er-Roum (street of the Greeks), in E. Cairo. The bones of the right arm of the warrior saint are supposed to be contained in a little silken bolster that is shown to visitors. The chapel in which it is contained is celebrated for the casting out of devils. Wednesday is the special day for the visits of those possessed, who are almost — 94 — entirely women, Kopt and Muslim alike. The demoniacs are those suffering from epileptic, and other nervous disorders, real or imaginary. By a recent order of the Koptic Patriarch, the method of exorcising by chanting and the noisy accompaniment of tambourines, has been abolished and the atmosphere of the Saint's Shrine now alone suffices for a cure Previously the proceedings resembled those of a noisy public zar.

Tambak. (lit. "Pure-flesh", in Persian),—a species of Persian tobacco, chiefly smoked in the Shisheh, or narghileh. A legend exists, according to which the daughter of a certain Sultan of Persia was healed of a terrible disease, when all prescribed remedies had failed, by eating the leaves of this herb, which was discovered accidentally, while living in seclusion in a remote district of Persia.

Tanta Fair, or Moulid of the Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawi. The great annual fair of Tanta, is no doubt, the survival of one of the ancient Egyptian national festivals. It is the most important of all held in Egypt. Religion, commerce, and pleasure offer combined attractions.

Visits are made to the Mosque and tomb of the Seyyid, and zikrs of dervishes are performed. On the last Friday, or day of the moulid, a grand procession is organized, and masquerades of various kinds are indulged in. As to commerce, endless bazaars are occupied by merchants from all parts of Egypt, and a brisk trade is carried on. A large horse, donkey, camel, and cattle market is also held. The open slave market has been long abolished, and such sale of slaves as takes place is conducted with the strictest privacy. As regards pleasures and festivities, there are the usual attractions of a large Egyptian moulid: Are works, singing and dancing women, various shows, and "fantasia" of all kinds. Nor is there any difficulty in imagining that in this moulid are faithfully handed down the characteristics of some ancient Festival of the Egyptian Venus. Some curious relics of ancient Saracenic, and perhaps Crusaders', armour are kept in the precincts of the Mosque. — 95 — Three fairs are held at Tanta in the year: the two lesser in Jan. and April, and the great moulid in August. They last nominally 8 days; but are prolonged as regards commerce. In 1877 between 600,000 and 700,000 persons attended the great fair, and it is said that on some late occasions upward of 1 ,000,003 have been present from first to last.

Tashtoushi. The Sheikh Abou Saleh Tashtoushi was a celebrated Saint of Cairo whose tomb-mosque,—a plain building with a dome surmounting the sepulchre,—is much frequented. It is near the Bab el-Adawi (Bab esh-Sharteh). Many healing virtues are attributed to the spot. On Fridays especially it is frequented by harems. A zikr of Saadieh Dervishes is performed about midday: after which devils are cast out of those possessed, to the beating of a tambourine. There is a magtass, or reservoir, to which sick folks descend by the light of a candle. Its waters are reputed to heal various maladies. The moulid of Tashtoushi is held in Regeb, the great night being the 27th, or Leylet el-Miarag. On this day a doseh is performed close to the Mosque.

Thamar, (Juncus acutus): a kind of reed used chiefly for making mats. The most valued are from the neighbourhood of Helwan: those from the Fayoum and from Suez being considered the next best.

Tharid, (or Fetteh). This is a dish composed of bread or toast cut up into small pieces, and put into bouillon, or broth of molokhieh or some other kind. Additions are made in flavouring the dish, which vary according to the skill of the cook. It is a dish eaten at all times of the year: but some think that it is especially recommended at this season, in order to caution people against a too exclusive use of vegetable food.

Tiriak, (theriake),—theriac. This recommendation to take a dose of tiriak fasting, must refer to customs now out of use. Tiriak being of various kinds, the particular sort here prescribed must be left to the imagination of the reader. Nor can we tell what beneficial effects it is supposed — 96 — to produce at this particular season of the year. The celebrated tiriac, or treacle, of Venice still finds its way to Egypt. One kind is used in Egypt as an antidote for the bites of serpents, scorpions, &c. Generally, speaking, however, tiriak has been used as a magoun or aphrodisiac: and the term tiriaki, in Turkish, is applied to a person who is addicted to the use of tiriak, just as the titles mageungi, afiouni, and hashash are bestowed upon those who indulge in magoun, opium, and hashish.

Toubeh, (the ancient Tobi): the 5th Koptic month. Corn and flax should be cleared from weeds, and land that is to be devoted to cotton, sesame, and summer cucurbitæ, is prepared until the l8th of Amshir. Land destined for the growth of culcas (colocasia), and sugar, should be inundated. Lands found to be uncultivable should be marked out and declared unproductive, in order that they may be exempt from taxation. The first cutting of sugar cane takes place (kasab er-ras): sufficient being left for seed, viz.:—one kirat in every feddan. At the end of the month work in canals and dykes should be taken in hand: and much care should be bestowed upon the repairing of sakkiehs (water wheels), wells, &c. The Nile water is in its clearest and best state in Toubeh, and cisterns should be now filled in Cairo and all large towns. The flesh of sheep is better now than at any other season. Vegetables, especially carrots, are at their best. Horses and mules should be tethered in bersim, and it is now time for the sale of cattle. S. winds (Sib) are more prevalent than N. (Dabour). Taxes are now collected. There are various popular sayings respecting Toubeh,—e.g. that if rain falls on any of the first eleven days, but especially on the Festival of the Epiphany, it is a certain sign of good crops. The fellah says "Yfra en Nusrani'' (the Christian is happy) and asserts that God is contented with his people, and will reward them with a bounteous harvest. (El-Makrizi) Toubeh 6th our Lord went in to the place of Circumcision, and fulfilled the law. 21st, Rest in the Lord of the Virgin Mother of God, the pure Lady Mary. 22nd, Rest in the Lord of the holy great Anthony, the father of monks. (Church Calendar).

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Tout. (The ancient Thoth), the 1st Koptic Month. The waters of the Nile should fertilize the whole of Egypt. Lands are let, and estimates of taxes made for the ensuing year by the Government. Grain and seeds are brought out from store houses, for planting. The Ancient Egyptians did not lay the foundations of houses in this month. Tout is celebrated for the harvest of various kinds of dates. A popular rhyme for the month says:—

"Yikthah fi er-Rutab
    Wa wagaa er Rukab"

i.e. "There is an abundance of Rutab (dates), and of pain in the knees". This alludes to rheumatic pains, resulting from the now prevailing humidity, which are liable to attack those who sleep too lightly covered, upon terraces or other exposed places. (El Makrizi).

Tout 1st: Job took a warm bath, and was healed of his sores. 17th, On this day we make mention of the Glorious Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Church Calendar).

A full period of 100 days has thus been given for the rise of the Nile between the Leylet en-Nuktah and the Eed es-Salib. The idea of the ancients was that the rise continued for 100 days, and this is approximately true; the usual period of the rising being about 90 days.

Winds of Egypt. These are chiefly named as follows:—Bahari and Shimal (N.). Bahwari, or Bahwari er-Roum (periodic N. and N. E.) Dabour (N. E.), Kiblieh or Mirisi (S.), Siba (S. W.) Shard (the hot Khamsin), Nesim (W. or Zephyr). See also Lawakkh. "Hossoum"—zobaa.

Yunas. The Sheikh Yunas ibn Saad ed-Din was a noted Saint of Cairo, who died towards the close of the last century. An annual Moulid is held in his honour in the vicinity of his tomb, which is near the Bab el-Nasr. (See Doseh).

Zar. A word signifying a sort of fete des dames, having for its object the casting out of devils. Women of all classes who are afflicted with any of those nervous disorders that are explained by "possession" are in the habit of assembling for a zar, which is held either at some Saint's tomb, or in the privacy of the harem. The process of — 98 — exorcising, briefly, consists in working the demoniac into a state of violent excitement by dancing and the recitation of spells: by the burning of incense: the writing of charms: the sacrificing of a sheep or other victims, of which the flesh is distributed to all guests and visitors present.

Zeynab. The daughter of Ali, and grand daughter of the Prophet. A Mosque, containing what is believed to be her tomb, in the S. of Cairo, is highly venerated. A large Moulid is held annually in her honour in the month of Regeb, the great day being a Wednesday, about the middle of the month. It resembles the other great moulids held within the precincts of the city of Cairo. An order is at present required for Europeans who desire to visit the Mosque, as also for the Mosque Ei-Azhar, and of the Hassaneyn.

Zikr. lit. Remembrance, and so—mention, or telling: also praise, celebration, glorification: reading or reciting of the Kuran: prayer to God, supplication. (See Lane's Arabic Dict.) Zikr is the term used of the various religious exercises of the Dervishes. The original object of the zikr is the fatiguing of the body, and consequent, supposed elevation of the soul: and the purification of the breath and whole being by unceasing repetition of the names of the Deity. Zikrs are very numerous in form and character; and those generally to be witnessed by Europeans have been often described.

Ziktr. The performer of a zikr.

Zobaa. The whirlwind, or moving pillar of sand and dust that is seen—(often several are visible at a time)—during the spring and summer, in the desert and Nile valley. Sometimes they move along with considerable rapidity.

Zul-Heggeh. The 12th Mohammedan month, devoted to pilgrimage as the name expresses. (See note ii.)

Zul-Kaadeh. The 11th Mohammedan month: signifying the month of repose.

FINIS


FOOTNOTES

1 Festival of the Martyrs (el-Makrizi).

2 See "the Earth as modified by human action" by O. P. Marsh pp. 77. and 123: and p. 15. on the "uncertainty of our historical conclusion on ancient climates."

3 Prof. Rawlinson's, Herodotus. Vol. ii. Essay iii.

4 Mo. T. denotes Mohammedan Time: Eur. T., European Time. (Lane's Mod. Egyptians, i. 278).

5 In quoting the Koptic Church Calendar we borrow from that translated by Rev. S. C Malan 1873. D. Nutt. Strand.